Friday, September 14, 2012

The Massive #4

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Garry Brown

I love The Massive, but Brian Wood's new post-environmental catastrophe epic is not without its flaws.  The series follows the Ninth Wave, a conservancy direct-action group who are now wandering the post-Crash world looking for their missing compatriots, and trying to continue their mission.

This issue starts the second story arc, 'Black Pacific'.  When it opens, the leader of the Ninth Wave, Callum Israel, is in Mogadishu negotiating with a local war lord for resupply of his vessel.  While walking through the city, he runs into Arkady, yet another person he knew from his time working with Blackbell PMC, a mercenary group that he quit in the late 90s.

This man was not exactly ever a friend, although he does have some ideas for how he can use Israel and his ship The Kapital.  This confrontation shows the depth of Israel's commitment to pacifism, and continues to reveal more about the man that Israel used to be.

The writing in this book is sharp, but I feel that what the Ninth Wave actually does has not been made clear.  Last issue, they were in Alaska; in this issue they are in the Arabian Sea.  By the end of the issue, they are setting off for Antarctica to find fresh water.  This is a lot of journeying around, and a lot of diesel fuel being burned, for a group that is supposed to be committed to preserving the environment, for no clear purpose.  This is something that Wood needs to clarify, and quickly.

The art for this issue has been done by Garry Brown, an artist I'm not familiar with.  He does a decent job, but I did prefer Kristian Donaldson's work.  The revelation that Callum is in his fifties is not exactly borne out by how he has appeared in this series.

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