Review: The Massive #10

A new story arc launches with issue #10 of The Massive by Brian Wood, Gary Erskine and Jordie Bellaire.  Once again we’re teased with a radar contact and sighting of the lost ship the Massive by its sister ship, the Kapital.  In a brief flashback, the death of a Kapital crewmember is revealed from either suicide or a drunken fall from one of the ship’s perches.  The Voiceover / Narration, speaks of a restless and frustrated crew and we see Callum Israel, the leader of the organization “The Ninth Wave” dealing with the anxiousness of the crew, and his own mortality from the last story arc when it was confirmed he has cancer.  The story continues after more information about how the crash affected the South American continent, and there is some discussion about how to proceed with how to confirm the Massive’s location.  

Clearly we’re seeing how gun-shy the crew is about this, since from the very beginning of the series they’ve been burned time and time again by the ghostly contact with the missing ship.  More exposition about the crash and South America fills in even more details about that part of the world and is followed by what is the main thrust of this issue.  We see Callum taking painkillers to help with his stomach when there is a knock at the door.  Apparently the restlessness of the crew has caused some members to barge in and demand their release from service to go fight at home. Callum explains that he can’t just simply drop them off without creating an incident both on and off the ship.  Callum reaches an alternate solution by giving the men a small inflatable boat to capably reach the shore.  Afterwards we learn that 9 more people went with them and that even more of the crew defected weeks after and left the Kapital.

In terms of world building and characterization, Brian Wood is one of the masters.  Each member of the Kapital is a distinct and well rounded personality and their dialogue is realistic and flows like natural conversation. But without knowing what Mr. Wood has in store for the next 2 issues of the story arc, it’s hard to say how well this episode is executed.   On one hand, the armed crew taking Callum hostage and demanding their release from service seems a bit stilted, almost like manufactured drama.  On the other hand, it’s Brian Freaking Wood and you just know he’s got something up his sleeve that should make it all more impactful and compelling.  History is on his side when it comes to telling a flat out good story, and so I for one will be interested to stay on board with the series and see how this plays out.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Brian Wood

Artist: Gary Erskine

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.50

Release Date: 3/27/13