Review: The Massive #2 from Dark Horse Comics
Short Version: The Massive #2 is high on potential, but it can be a bit hard to follow in spots because of frequent jumping between the past and the future and a tendency to resolve conflicts with little explanation. Brian Wood has created a fascinating world that I look forward to being explored more, but this is a series with promise that just hasn’t found its footing yet. Score: 6 out of 10.
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Kristian Donaldson
The Massive follows the crew of the conservationist boat the Kapital in the wake of unexplained environmental disasters. In the first issue, the Kapital lost contact with the crew of its sister ship the Massive (hence the title). The second issue picks up with the crew of the Kapital hiding in heavy fog from a group of Siberian pirates, looking to pull into port in Hong Kong, which now mostly lies under water, to get much needed fuel.
The Massive #2 cuts rapidly between modern day and the climate events that shaped the new world that is forming, a place where paper money is badly devalued and the world’s coastlines have been rapidly altered. I like the glance we get of Hong Kong, where ruthless muggers now walk the streets, but the rest of the book feels oddly paced. The action never quite flows smoothly and the whole thing feels a little directionless right now. The crew of the Kapital lost contact with their friends and families aboard the Massive, but no one seems particularly worried. They do not appear to have any noticeable plan of action. The glimpses of the disasters that created the world are the most interesting part of the book as it stands right now.
Still, there’s a lot of promise here, I just don’t feel like we’ve been given a very good chance to be invested in the crew of the Kapital (much less the crew of the Massive) and I don’t feel like the book has done a very good job conveying any sense of urgency or tension to this point. Threats are introduced and then largely resolved without consequence or explanation. Donaldson’s art is beautiful and the world that Wood has created looks like it is fascinating, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing where things go in the future. Still, there’s a lot of promise and not a lot of payoff right now.
Score: 6 out of 10.