Graphic novel review: The Massive by Brian Wood & Kristian Donaldson

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After graduating from the prestigious Parsons School of Design, Brian Wood spent several years in video game design with Rockstar Games, most notably for the Grand Theft Auto franchise before moving full time into writing. Brian’s comic book work has been published by DC Entertainment, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, and others.

Publisher: OniPress

I loved it. The Massive is an excellent post-apocalyptic comic book series that revolves around environmental themes. It’s set in a world where a global environmental catastrophe known as The Crash has occurred and drastically changed the world. Humanity witnessed wildfires raging, urban decimation, and complete global communication blackouts. Water became scarce. In other words, trouble. 

The story centers around the crew of an environmental activist ship called The Kapital led by Captain Callum Israel. The crew embarks travels across the oceans, searching for their lost sister ship, The Massive, which went missing during the chaos of The Crash.

The series addresses urgent environmental issues and explores the consequences of humanity’s abuse of the planet. It touches on topics of climate change, overconsumption, and the impact of human activity on marine ecosystems. It presents them maturely and thoughtfully, without getting too emo. 
I loved how well-developed and compelling all characters are. The crew members of The Kapital are diverse, flawed, and relatable, each dealing with their own personal struggles in the midst of the global crisis.

Kristian Donaldson and Garry Brown’s detailed illustrations capture the desolate post-apocalyptic world and the harsh realities faced by the characters. Their art is simple, minimalistic, and elegant.

Many post-apocalyptic stories focus on action and survival, and readers love them for it. The Massive goes the extra mile and adds layers of complexity by addressing political, social, and philosophical issues. It avoids black-and-white portrayals – in this world, the line between heroes and villains is often blurred. And the reality is ambiguous.
Is it perfect? No.  Some readers will find “The Massive” too slow, as it frequently delves into introspective moments and focuses on character development rather than constant action. I appreciated the depth and substance of this story, but others may find them tiring.

Overall, “The Massive” is an awesome comic series focused on environmental themes. It provides a complex and character-driven story and a more thoughtful take on the post-apocalyptic genre. If you enjoy stories that make you reflect on the impact of our actions on the world, give it a shot.

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