Friday, 15 June 2012

Review: The Massive #1 - Escaping to the end of world

The Crew of the Kapital (Yes that is how it's spelt) are searching for their sister ship as the world literally ends around them in the first issue of Brian Wood's new indie series The Massive.

Supposedly set in the present day (this I'm not so sure about as there is references to the early 2000's although I would assume it's a "not to distant future" type book), The Massive follows Captain Callum Israel and his crew on board the Kapital as they search for their missing sister ship, the Massive, in a world which is literally falling apart and nearing the end after a succession of natural disasters have caused chaos to the world we know.

After reading this opening issue I found my self intrigued by the story. This may not be a great description, but, unfortunately, it'sthe best I can offer. The story in itself is engrossing, with many questions left at the end, mostly about the bigger world itself. However, the numerous pages of back story flashbacks intercut between the present day story feel like a typical exposition dump and come across as boring. In fact it hurts the present day story by disrupting it's pacing, making it feel disjointed. However, despite it's problems, the book is still engrossing if you ignore the flashbacks and additional pages at the end giving greater insight into the world are also very interesting. These good points are made better by Kristian Donaldson's art, which is the highlight of this title. Donaldson's style is unlike anything I've seen before, with exception to maybe Tonci Zonjic's work in Who is Jake Ellis? Donaldson's pencils are so crisp and clean and the colors that come with them match the story beautifully.

In truth, I'm on the fence as to whether I will invest in this series long term. The premise, searching for a missing ship while the world around you is crumbling, is a tempting lure and the artwork is too good to miss out on. Maybe, now that series exposition is been presented, the title can show some of the potential I believe it has.

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