By: Brian Wood (writer), Gerry Brown (art) & Jordie Bellaire (colors)
The Story: A glimpse of the post-Crash United States.
Review (with SPOILERS): This will be an odd review as I’m traveling and left my issue of The Massive #13 back home. So, I’m writing purely from memory rather than my customary method where I have the issue next to me and can flip through it for reference. As such, it’s very much a review about first and lasting impressions. Who knows???? Maybe THAT is the way reviews should be done all the time?
This issue gave me a bit of storytelling-whiplash as we appear to have totally abandoned this “Where’s the Massive?” storyline from last issue. Heck, I’m not even sure how they have physically relocated from one part of the world to another. Weren’t they in the Pacific? It really makes no sense and if you’re a big fan of the storyline where our protagonists basically steam around the world looking for a missing sister ship…then you will be disappointed with this issue.
I, on the other hand, think that the “Where’s the Massive?” storyline really sucks. I won’t rehash my arguments against it again. See my reviews of The Massive #12, The Massive #11, or The Massive #3.
The story in this issue links back to the much more interesting story from The Massive #7 where the crew docked with a proto-nation made up of massive oil platforms. As you might recall, during the conflict of the “government” of these platforms, one of the Kaptial‘s crew members “went rogue” and stole a Russian nuclear submarine that the oil platform people were keeping. Here we see Callum Israel and his crew trying to “clean up their own mess” by tracking down the Russian sub and get back to the Ninth Wave’s mission of “making a difference”.
I can’t tell you how much better this issue is. I can even ignore the fact that I don’t think a ship like the Kapital could EVER track an advanced Russian nuclear submarine (otherwise the US Navy would just buy a lot of that kinda ship instead of fancy frigates and helicopters and whatnot). What I love about The Massive (the series, not the ship) is that it is presenting a pretty unique view of the post-crash world. I love seeing people trying to survive and carry on in their own ways. I loved seeing the folks lashing oil-platforms together and declaring a libertarian utopia. And I love seeing the effect the Crash has had on the United States. I mean, Manhattan is FLOODED! All the other coastal cities are flooded. Nobody even tries to live there. I loved Wood’s explanation of why Hong Kong is adapting and enduring whereas Americans just abandoned NYC. He contends that Americans are used to disposable items and it is an interesting contrast with the Chinese. I mean, the Chinese aren’t just a country; it’s really a people that has a several thousand year history in those places. American is a land of people whose ancestors – in the last several hundred years – all said, “Screw this noise! I’m moving to America.” It makes sense that there is a genetic or cultural restlessness in Americans that would lead them to abandon and rebuild. It is interesting to consider what Americans would do if NYC really did flood. Would we leave and go somewhere else? Or would we do what we did with the World Trade Center and build the Freedom Tower (the ultimate in “F___ Yeah! ‘Merica!” attitude).
Regardless, this story is WAY more interesting than watching a guy with cancer look for a lost ship. But, that story will probably never really go away.
The art is good. Being away from the comic, I don’t recall anything really grabbing me, but all the characters are correct and precise and the storytelling is clear.
Conclusion: This issue was an abrupt and welcome switch from the search for that missing ship. I’d be find if that missing ship ended up in the same dustbin of unexplained comic stories along with whatever is in Scarlet Witch’s closet.
– Dean Stell