Friday, November 16, 2012

The Massive #6

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Garry Brown

With each issue, I find that The Massive is becoming a more and more essential comic.  The first arc grabbed my attention, but each issue contained so much information about the state of the world after 'The Collapse' that it was hard to get a sense of the characters and the story.

With the 'Black Pacific' arc, writer Brian Wood has given each of the series's main three characters their own issue, and has therefore humanized this series a great deal.

This month, the focus falls on Mag Nagendra, the one member of the Ninth Wave environmental direct action group that has the hardest time sticking to the non-violent ethos espoused by their leader, Callum Israel.  Mag grew up as a child soldier in the Tamil Eelam, and eventually ended up working with Callum at Blackbell, the military contractors modelled on Blackwater.

This issue has Mag and his companion Georg infiltrate a British-owned cargo vessel that the crew of the Kapital find crawling across the ocean towards America.  He is looking for food for the group, but is wise and worldly enough to know that the ship is not going to be empty.  He and Georg go packing weapons, even though that goes against Israel's beliefs.  We also see a few scenes from Mag's life, including the mission that finally convinced him to leave Blackbell and join Israel in his new life.

I really like the way that Wood is structuring this comic, with a mixture of flashbacks and current action.  He has really thought through the extent to which environmental collapse would affect the world's economy and social structures.  The text pieces at the back of the book help fill in a number of gaps, and I find that I am now looking forward to each new issue more than I did Wood's other books like DMZ and Northlanders (which was really quite a bit).

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