Friday, November 16, 2012

Great Pacific #1

Written by Joe Harris
Art by Martín Morazzo

Image Comics does it again, with a strong debut for new series Great Pacific.  This comic stars Chas Worthington, the scion of a gigantic American energy company.  In the period after his father's death, young Chas has little interest in running the company as either his father or his grandfather before him did.  Instead, Chas wants to make his mark on the world, and has devoted his attention to fixing the issue of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Chas is shown as the typical American trustifarian.  He's jetting and helicoptering around the world, helping some Maasai irrigate their village, juggling multiple girlfriends, and trying to convince his company of the soundness of his process to break down hydrocarbons into water, in an attempt to help clean up oil spills.  Chas is clearly a bit of a flake, but with his heart in the right place.

We learn quickly that the board of directors at Worthington Enterprises have no love for him, to the extent that when he gets attacked in his home and subsequently disappears, it's not easy to believe that the company was involved.  What we, the reader, learns though is that Chas has some very big plans for the floating mass of garbage the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific.

I am pleased to see that this issue is being given increased prominence in various forms of entertainment (watch Ramin Bahrani's excellent short film The Plastic Bag).  It's an important one, but it seems most of the public is still unaware of it.  I do wonder at the solidity of the garbage patch as it's shown here - I don't believe it's something that someone could actually walk around on, and is more like a plastic soup.  I also wonder at the dichotomy of Chas flying everywhere, releasing a large volume of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but then driving a car that runs on biodiesel.

Joe Harris, who has previously caught my attention with the excellent Spontaneous and Ghost Projekt, does a great job of establishing this story and catching my interest.  I'm not familiar with Martín Morazzo, the artist, but I do like his work.  His characters remind me a touch of Frank Quitely.  I'm not sure how many issues this series is set to run for, but I know I'll be sticking around.

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