Review - The Massive #3

Callum Israel's quest to find the Massive continues. Will they ever find it? Are pirates still shady in this world? Does The Massive #3 from Dark Horse answer these questions?

The third and final issue of the "Landfall" arc is written by Brian Wood, with illustrations by Kristian Donaldson, colors by Dave Stewart and letters by Jared K. Fletcher.

Siberian pirates assault the Kapital, prompting Mag and Callum to have a philosophical discussion about the merits of arming the crew. Considering the mission of the Massive revolves around non-violence, that leads to some disagreements among those involved. Needless to say, the world calls for violence at times.

By the end of the issue (and the arc), the Kapital and crew have made their way to Unalaska to stock up on everything--weapons included. The final panel of the issue is a starry night, offering the reader a glimpse into where the book will go from here.

For all the inactivity and somewhat sluggish pace of the first two issues, Wood delivers a pretty good payoff in the third issue. There are more flashbacks to the environmental disaster that leveled the world. There's more instances of crew beginning to question Callum's insistence on finding his Moby Dick (in this case, the Massive and Mary). And there's background on Mag.

Mag is a man who gets things done and is leading the effort to arm the crew. He handles the small contingent of pirates with relative ease, but he's no fool; it's a violent world, where predators prey on the weak. He respects Callum's non-violence mantra, but realizes it could get them killed.

That's probably the strongest part of the third issue. Doubts on the part of everyone start to come into play and all of them seem to involve Callum. He's blindly traversing the world on this one mission, telling the crew little and trying his hardest to do it his way. He's not a jerk about it or anything, but there's a certain blind naievity that Callum exudes that will likely cause problems down the road.

The grittiness of Donaldson's art continues to impress, effectively conveying a broken world to the reader. He uses very clean lines and characters, forcing the panels to stand out. The style does a fantastic job of helping to move the story along briskly. Stewart's colors further accent this desolate narrative. Certain pages have full-page color filters applied that help move the reader through the story chronologically.

In all honesty, you'll probably either love The Massive #3 or hate it. You'll love it if you appreciate patient storytelling and blending a non-violent, environmental bent with flashes of violence and depravity. You'll probably hate it if you want more action or something that moves faster. The fact that The Massive moves a bit slower compared to other books certainly isn't a bad thing. It just means you have to respect it to enjoy it.

The Massive #3 is in stores now with interiors below.