In The Massive #3, Brian Wood asks the reader, what is the mission of a world-saving environmentalist group after the world has ended? This is a big story told in a very small, personal way. Wood intercuts splash pages showing the various disasters that have befallen the world with the story of a ship full of environmentalists who think that just because the world is ending, it doesn’t mean that their mission is over. In fact, it may just be the beginning.
The story follows Captain Callum Israel and the crew of an ocean trawler called the Kapital as they traverse a world that has literally sunken beneath the waves. They must contend with dwindling supplies, pirates, and their own dark pasts as they try to figure out what comes next. This book has an incredibly interesting high concept story, but what really makes it work are the characters. Callum, Mag, and Mary are all incredibly interesting. They are very easy to relate to, and yet with every page turn, you learn secrets about them that make you wonder if you ever knew them at all.
Then, you have the art of Kristian Donaldson and Dave Stewart. Donaldson’s pencils can handle serious debates or intense action scenes, and, regardless, his characters are always detailed and incredibly expressive. In this issue, he even gives us these sweeping splash pages showing off the various disasters that signaled the end of the world as we knew it. Then, Dave Stewart colors it all perfectly, using subtle color cues to show us which images are flashbacks, and which are present day. This is a book where the art and the writing are in perfect synergy and enhance the story in ways only comics can.
The Massive #3 is an excellent book, and you should really pick it up this week (and pick up Issues #1 and #2). Brian Wood is just warming up, and this book is going to be a series we’ll be talking about for years to come.