The Massive [Shotgun Blurbs]

The Massive
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Creators: Brian Wood & Kristian Donaldson

What It’s About: “The Crash.” It’s a series of global environmental disasters of apocalyptic proportions, engulfing the planet and forcing the Ninth Wave paramilitary environmental activist crew of The Kapital to search for their missing sister ship The Massive. The trio of prequel stories in Dark Horse Presents introduced the origins of the key crew members, allowing Wood to jump into issue #1 en media res, as the crew fends off marauding pirates, visits exotic ports of call, and continues to track a mysterious radar blip that could be their missing sister ship lost at sea. If Wood’s Vertigo epic DMZ carried an embedded anti-war message, The Massive seems to be concerned with the systematic rape, pillage, and depletion of the natural world through over-population and over-industrialization. Never one to shy away from pushing hot button social issues, Wood’s use of the term “crash” itself is imbued with many interpretations, be them post-9/11, post-financial meltdown, post-war, and now the most dangerous and intimidating concept of all: post-Earth as we know it. Captain Callum Israel leads a group of survivors now struggling to redefine themselves and their mission in this turbulent world.

Why You Should Buy It: Third in a very loose thematic trilogy formed by precursory approaches in Channel Zero and DMZ, The Massive ratchets up the tension to a global scale. Wood’s debut work Channel Zero was about a girl and her broken city, DMZ was about a boy and his broken country, and The Massive is about a man and his broken planet, “a socially aware story in the skin of an action comic,” as Wood described in a recent interview. Kristian Donaldson’s art is simply the best of his career to date. Using intricately modeled detail, he creates the grand spectacle of seafaring ships, crumbling glaciers, and flooded cities, and then fills them with an end-to-end spectrum of high octane shootouts and crew members quietly contemplating their ability to save a world that’s already been lost. Wood’s exhaustive research adds a sharp sense of realism to this immersive bit of socially relevant world-building. This final frontier is actually a radically altered planet, suggesting that the future’s greatest threat will not be extreme religious ideology, political divisiveness at home, China’s standing army or financial dominance, but climate change and the resulting crisis of food, water, energy, natural resources, and global sustainability.


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