01/07/2012. Contributed by Andy Whitaker
pub: Dark Horse. 32 page comicbook. Price: $ 3.50 (US).
check out website: www.darkhorse.com
'The Massive' is a three part graphic novel written by Brian Wood with part 1 sub-titled 'Landfall: 'Kamchatka''. Kristian Donaldson did the art and letters were by Jared K. Fletcher with Dave Stewart doing the colours. The story is set on the 'direct-action' conservation ship Kapital off the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian far east. It is set in the near future after a worldwide environmental crash caused devastating changes. The Kapital is one vessel of the Ninth Wave direct-action conservation force led by Callum Israel who also captains the Kapital. Their mission is to search for the reasons behind the crash and to continue to search for their missing sister ship, the Massive.
In part 1 of 'The Massive', we get introduced to Callum Israel, Mary - the second-in-command and also Callum's girl-friend, first mate Mag Nagendra and Lars, who seems to be the main man on the Kapital's bridge. A lot of past history is provided for Callum but very little for anyone else.
As this episode is only twenty-seven pages long, including front and back covers, there is not enough space to include everything. We do know that since the sister ship, the Massive, went missing they have been detecting strange radar blips that may or may not be the Massive. It is after detecting one of these signals that Mary decides to take an inflatable boat to go and investigate only to run into three hostile small boats. With Callum taking action to hide the Kapital from the unknown contacts, they run the risk of losing contact with Mary. Part 1 of 'The Massive' ends at this point.
The big question is has there been enough of interest in part 1 to induce the reader to buy parts 2 and 3? It is after all very short being more -in terms of page count - comic-sized than graphic novel but I think there is enough to grab your interest. The characters are interesting and the artwork is very good. There is just enough of the story present to make you curious as to what happens next and what caused the big environmental crash in the first place. With so little background information on three of the main characters, there is scope for some interesting surprises there, too. As I enjoyed this episode, I will look out for part 2 and see where the story goes. With luck it might have a few more pages than part 1.
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