I’m loathe to use this metaphor in a book like The Massive because it’s just such low-hanging fruit, but issue 27 feels like the calm before the final storm in the series. We’ve just had the biggest reveal of the series, and Brian Wood and Garry Brown let us live in the moment for an issue, gathering where we stand now, and what we know is coming for the Ninth Wavers. Big time spoilers are coming in this paragraph, so if you’re not up to date on the series AVERT THINE EYES. At the end of issue 26, Kapital and her crew found the Massive after a long search, and they found it by essentially running into it in the middle of nowhere. The crew of the Kapital boards the Massive to find out where it’s been and what its crew has been doing, with a new kind of post-Crash superstorm headed after them, and coming fast. It’s a rare chance for them to pause and not be searching or fighting, and they get some glimmers of hope while they pray that things don’t go totally wonked in Crash 2.0.
Brian Wood’s pacing for this series has been top-notch through and through. There have been action arcs, there have been world-building arcs, there have been issues that take place entirely in the middle of the desert, and ones where the crew doesn’t see land for months. He’s been controlling the flow of information in the series with a deft hand from issue to issue and arc to arc, and this is no different. My only complaint at this point is that this is the last arc—for a book that was ostensibly a chase story, the Kapital constantly chasing the Massive around the world and meeting every new society in the wake of the Crash, it was a series that felt like it could have gone on forever. I’m not saying I don’t like that it’s ending, because the ending is totally working and landing, I’m just gonna miss it.
Brown’s art is on point, as always. He’s an artist who knows when he needs to detail every piece of machinery and pipework in the panel, and when he can pull back and suggest details instead. There’s a scene of the crew waiting on Kapital that is almost just sketches, and then there’s a scene on the main level inside the Massive that’s a real sea change for everyone (no pun intended), and Brown renders it in loving detail. Jordie Bellaire also shines in this issue, with the chance to expand the palette of the series beyond the washed-out greys and browns it has used for most of its run. I shouldn’t have to say this, but in every issue of every book she does, she proves she’s one of the best in the business (if not the best, currently), and this issue’s no exception.
The wrap of this series has been phenomenal so far. Wood’s been bringing some mysticism to the Crash 2.0 that’s very interesting, making the second Crash in The Massive a little more unlikely, but that’s never been the important part. The important part is how people deal with the effects of the Crashes, and it looks like this may not be one that they can come back from. I guess we’ll have to come back for the next three months and see where this crazy ride ends up.
Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Garry Brown Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/24/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital