Title: The Massive Omnibus.
Writer(s): Brian Wood.
Penciller(s): Garry Brown, Kristian Donaldson, Gary Erskine, Declan Shalvey & Danijel Zezelj.
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart & Jordie Bellaire.
Letterer(s): Jared K. Fletcher.
Publisher: Dark Horse Books.
Release Date: July 16th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
If it isn’t already clear enough, the planet is far from being in the same healthy state as it once was generations ago. With all the wounds we inflicted to our natural environment, leading us to limited resources to work with on a daily basis, we are left with the only viable solution staring disappointedly at us: to slow down the eventual end with short-term solutions. But what if the planet had a surprise for us when we least expect it? What if it was to suddenly grow tired of our foolishness and retaliate by speeding things up? Critically-acclaimed writer Brian Wood offers fans a bleak glimpse of the future by bringing in an ecological disaster that allows him to portray the potential societal and economic consequences that man will have to face if Mother Nature was ever to revolt.
What is The Massive (Omnibus Vol. 1) about? Collecting half of Brian Wood’s famous post-apocalyptic comic book series, from issues #0 to #15, the story follows a determined crew of environmental-activists known as the Ninth Wave, on the Kapital, looking for their sister ship, The Massive. The world in which they roam is now mostly plunged underwater following the Crash, an ensemble of natural disasters—earthquake, volcanoes, you name it. With only skyscrapers poking out of the water and sea stations established in various countries, the crew constantly faces unsettling obstacles, notably pirates of all kind, as they explore a world where the rules have changed forever.
With three out of six volumes collected into one book, this edition allows the reader to fathom Brian Wood’s writing style. Although Brian Wood is oozing with some of the finest ideas that bring him to explore a dystopian future where mankind is stripped of its resources and needs to work together to build a utopia with what is left in the world, the direction and execution struggled to appeal to me. The story often jumped from one corner of the world to another as the crew fruitlessly searched for their sistership’s location. Each location came with its fair share of threats and gave Brian Wood the opportunity to dive into the past of each of his characters but never managed to make them stand out in any particular fashion. Halfway into the volume, the story seemed to desperately search for land and sprawled on forever, giving a distinctive feeling that it simply never knew where it was heading.
While intriguing, the characters mostly left me wondering about their purpose on this unappealing mission and why they were doing the things they were doing. What mostly made this a rocky boat ride was how the story would continuously flip back and forth between the present and the past to give readers a glimpse into the history of the characters. The constant switch of point of view and timelines gave a feeling of being aimlessly jerked around, merely adding a yellow tone to the art to make it easier to distinguish present from past. This simply made it much more complicated for the reader to be invested in the character, as their background weren’t as interesting as they could’ve been. I also found the artwork to not help too much with my immersion, besides for the setting being grandiose and epic at times, as character designs could vary from mediocre to decent, especially when the artist would change and new visual styles would be attempted.
The Massive (Omnibus Vol. 1) is an overly stretched out post-apocalyptic tale of a world mostly plunged underwater with sketchy characters driven by questionable motives looking for answers wherever they could set foot on.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!