What is a second chance worth?
The finale of Brian Wood’s The Massive is epic in scope and execution. This series has been an interesting mix of pacing: white-knuckled panic, backing into doldrums of expansive waiting. The question from the first issue – What does and environmentalist do after the end of the world? – finds itself being answered in a much more literal sense than I would have otherwise expected, and it wraps up with a subtle, but insistent, message.
Wood has been weaving many different pieces together throughout this series, and Mary’s story has always seemed slightly separate from the rest of the crew, though she’s been with them constantly until the events of Sahara. Well, she’s back in the biggest way possible, and her origin and importance finally come clear. Revealing herself to the ailing Captain Isreal, we are finally given some very big pieces to the puzzle of what exactly happened to the world, and what the future holds. This entire volume is about revelations, and I feel that I can’t give anything away for fear of spoiling. If you’ve been waiting for the trade to finish this series, all I can say is that you’re in for a very rewarding treat. If you’ve read the individual issues, then you know this is a must-have collection to revisit when the story calls to you again.
Garry Brown does a wonderful job illustrating the end of the world, and the terror and wonder at these massive shifts in the world are easy to fathom and will keep you on the edge through the whole volume. There’s something freeing about the end of all things, and by the time we hit what should be the most tumultuous points, we are spared the journey and find ourselves in the calm of the storm, right where Mary’s led us. It’s a surprisingly peaceful ending to a story that had been on the balance beam of destruction for so long, and it seals the story with the message that resonates with the script.
I don’t typically share my feelings on the content itself, but this series has been an interesting ride, and I’ve often found myself at odds with some of the ideals and choices within it, but have been captivated by the fantastic storytelling that has been on display since the first issue. For me, the ending is a more dire warning than the rest of the post-crash world we’ve seen to this point. The crash is happening now, and not quickly in a way that we can comprehend, but slowly enough that some can bury their heads and ignore the truths before them. The crew that we’ve been following has Mary intervene on their behalf with some pretty significant help, and some are granted a fresh start. We’ll have no floating rocks returning the world to a pristine state, we have only one chance and we have to change ourselves before it’s too late. And, even if it is already, we have to do everything we can to slow what we’ve accelerated. That’s the impression and the warning I get from this work, and it might be different for everyone. One thing’s for sure, though, it’s a great story told very, very well. Check it out.
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