Published on May 30th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
The Massive #24 – Comic Review
The crew of the Kapital have taken a back seat in the current story arc of Brian Wood’s post apocalyptic future. In Sahara the narrative concentrates on Mary and her current mission protecting a convoy of water trucks as they travel through the desert. The second part of this story illustrates the isolation of the women and the risks they face during their low paid security job. It also allows Mary’s charismatic leadership skills to shine as she confronts not only those wanting to steal the water but also the ‘men’ who are charged to protect the women and the trucks.
Brian Wood allows Mary’s character to grow naturally throughout the narrative while at the same time peppers it with hints at something greater about her, something almost mystical. Mary appears to be the centre of a lot of the outstanding story threads that are currently dangling throughout The Massive but Wood is careful only to hint at the full picture. He links an ancient mystical tale to the modern day story by contrasting the bountiful forests with the sparse desert but keeps a constant in the form of Mary. Is the vision in the centuries old story the same woman as the mysterious eco warrior the readers have grown to love and admire? I’m sure it won’t be long until we find out.
However good the script is, it is the art that makes The Massive so spell binding. Danijel Zezelj’s work is outstanding. There is an overriding visual style across each page similar to a screen printed fanzine from the 1980’s. Heavy blocks of black mark the boundaries for Jordie Bellaire’s colours which make the distinction between settings so easy to follow. The hazy orange or pink base colours that represent the sand filled landscape at various times of day are replaced by solid blocks of muted colour whenever the characters retreat into the water trucks. The most striking sequence of all is the late night Security Check where the darkness of the convoy is flooded with white light. The artwork becomes almost black and white and resembles an over photocopied image that has started to degrade. The whole scene is filled with tension thanks to Wood’s clever scripting and the artists’ uncompromising style. It feels as if the torches are being shined directly out of the comic and into your face.
I am a big fan of Jordie Bellaire’s colouring and this comic is a prime example of her much sought after talent. She takes the magnificent pencil work of Zezelj and enlightens every panel on every single page. As you flick through the comic, whole sections leap out at you; full pages of orange or pink washes draw your eye and they pull you into the story.
I have no idea where Brian Wood is going with his overall story but this issue opens up one of the most mysterious characters from the entire run so far and she is the driving force behind so much of the action up to this point. The Massive continues to get better with each new arc and next month’s issue can’t come soon enough.
Title: The Massive
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Danijel Zezelj/Jordie Bellaire