THE MASSIVE #30
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Garry Brown and Jordie Bellaire
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 24, 2014
The apparent destruction of mankind doesn’t stop The Massive from finding peace at the end of its 30 issue run.
Throughout the series, The Massive has largely been a socio-environmental thriller that followed environmentalist Callum Israel and the crew of the Kapital on their search for their missing sister ship in the midst of a deteriorating world. In its final arc, Ragnarok, writer Brian Wood injected a supernatural element to the series that was applauded by some readers and rejected by others. Regardless of your feelings on these supernatural elements, The Massive #30 is able to set that aside and conclude the series on a note that respects the pain and hardships of the characters while also providing a fresh path for their future.
With much of the action and destruction taking place in previous issues, this issue acts as an epilogue where Mag, Lars, Ryan, Yusup, Callum, and his daughter Yeva must cope with their place in this empty world. Each character has varying degrees of sadness, resentment, and hope, which helps the issue shine – while they may have joined Ninth Wave and the crew for diverse reasons, they are now able to unite under one banner for their new purpose of exploring the world. The earth no longer needs saving from evil entities trying to destroy the environment – now it needs a new set of eyes to take an account of this paradise. In a violent and unpredictable way, Callum achieved his goal of becoming steward of the planet, and that chapter can finally end.
Garry Brown’s art throughout this series has been an excellent accompaniment to the catastrophic events and turmoil, but his work really shines in the eerily quiet opening scenes of the ocean, forest, and plains in a world without man. The bright vibrant colors of Jordie Bellaire help this scenery glow in its simplicity, and effectively teleports the reader to a calm place, if just for a few pages. This silence also makes the transition to a spread of the imposing Massive that much more jarring, as it stands as a beacon to the perseverance of humanity.
Throughout the issue the spotlight shines on each character as they cope with the possibility of being the last people on earth, and their artistic portrayal really helps solidify the contrasting opinions. Lars is hopeful and ready to explore, and is seen surrounded by vast blue open spaces. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Callum is focused on the ship and understanding the actions of his past – as a result, he finds himself in cavernous black spaces in the bowels of the ship. Each scene feels expertly crafted and brings forth the powerful emotions of each crew member as they sail on into the unknown.
Like the endings of many series, The Massive #30 is bittersweet. The world is destroyed, the ship is out in the middle of nowhere, and the path ahead is unknown. However, through Brian Wood’s deep characterization and Brown and Bellaire’s influential artwork, we’re given a story that gives readers confidence that their next adventures will be full of excitement and wonder. As a conclusion, issue 30 makes every struggle, every painful moment of this series feel significant and necessary to help create the beautiful world that lays ahead. I’m sad to see it end, but am grateful for the opportunity to take the ride.
The Verdict: 9.5/10