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The Massive, Vol. 1: Black Pacific

(The Massive #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,399 ratings  ·  210 reviews
In this first volume of Brian Wood’s new, sprawling postapocalyptic epic, follow the crew of the Kapital from the flooded remnants of Hong Kong to Unalaska, with stops in Antarctica and Mogadishu, as post-Crash ethics and economics are explored across a broken world.

Collecting issues #1–#6 of the series, plus three eight page stories from Dark Horse Presents.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Dark Horse Comics
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,399 ratings  ·  210 reviews

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Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
It’s another dystopian, post-apocalyptic nightmare from Brian “The Future is gonna suck” Wood, author of DMZ, another the-future-is-going-to-Hell-in-a-handbasket series.

In this one, severe climate changes wreak havoc on the world’s ecosystem, economy and governments. The story follows the crew of The Kapital, formerly an environmentalist ship, as it navigates the oceans looking for its sister ship, The Massive and trying to find a purpose in this gutted future. It’s shiver me timbers and blow me
mark monday
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comicon
compelling. Brian Wood returns to the place that made him famous: the near future. although I assume that this series and DMZ are not set in the same world, it's nice to see him back where his skills really shine. the world turning liquid and rushing down a giant sinkhole really brings out the best in him! I was impressed by his competence in creating a complex narrative, his ability to pull back and let the reader see the big picture, the intriguing characterization for a unique set of characte ...more
Sam Quixote
Aug 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Set in the always-ominous near future, a series of disasters have taken place in a year bringing devastation to countries around the world. Luckily, our protagonists are in a boat - the Kapital - so don’t really give a crap about rising sea levels. They’re looking for their sister ship, the Massive. Anyone seen it? No? Anyone care about this rubbish plot? Nope! Onwards then! …. no….

That said, describing this first volume, Black Pacific, as having a plot is a bit misleading. The crew of the Kapi
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Every environmental catastrophe that could possibly happen has, one right after the other. The oceans are rising, economies are collapsing, wildlife is dying off in huge numbers, and America has gone off the grid. The environmental group The Ninth Wave (similar to Greenpeace) has lost contact with one of its ships, the Massive of the title. The other ship, Kapital, has gone in search of it.

The search for the Massive ends up, at least in the this volume, as a framework for exploring the world sha
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
After years of abuse, the Earth has reached its tipping point. A series of natural disasters referred to as The Crash has destabilized the global economy and presumably killed millions of people. We don't really know for sure just like the crew of the Kapitol. If you think about it, major disasters could happen all over the Earth and you wouldn't have any idea for months if you were deep at sea. This is all told through random flashbacks throughout the story. We follow around the crew of a Green ...more
James DeSantis
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I honestly got bored reading this one, which is a shame. I usually enjoy most of Brain Wood's work now.

It's basically about what if most of the world got drowned out by water. It's pretty interesting idea, it got me excited to try it anyway, but I couldn't get invested in the plot and especially the characters. They all came off as boring and I just never could get in to it. The idea is cool, art is solid, but the rest left me wanting more. A 2 out of 5.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I'm a big Brian Wood fan. DMZ was a phenomenal series, and Northlanders was epic. So when I heard that his next non-supes venture was about dystopian/post-apocalyptic/environmental crusaders, I was VERY excited:


What always impresses me about Wood's work is that it seems so very real, plausible in actuality. DMZ? Not that far-fetched. Northlanders? I don't doubt it was like that.
Reading The Massive, I felt the actual fear of wondering what my own role would be after that sort of catastrophic envi
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Stripped down to the panel wireframes and pencil sketches of its storyboard, The Massive: Black Pacific is a classic odyssey tale - lost child seeks parent in dark scary wood. Our grubby child is the Kapital, a "conservationist direct action trawler", its missing mothership the titular Massive and the odyssey our plot's spine, such as there is.

Which just leaves Planet Earth as the dark scary wood. That we are far from some perfect Gaian equilibrium is made clear from the (literally) cold open,
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
So-so soft-apocalypse graphic novel. A yearlong series of tectonic and climate-related natural disasters, known as The Crash, has decimated the world's food and water supplies, wrecked government stability, radically altered coastlines and sea levels, and ruined the world economy. Millions--maybe billions--have perished. In contrast to most cataclysm stories, The Massive doesn't knock mankind back into the stone age; technology persists. It's more about exploring global destabilization than claw ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Last week my friend Ferny posted on my fb wall asking if I'd read The Massive cos he was thinking it would be his next comic read. I shamefacedly admitted that I'd not even heard of it, and felt even worse after looking it up.

I mean, I read and FUCKING LOVED Brian Wood's Northlanders series last year (burned through all the trades over a weekend, one of the best things about not knowing about comics til the run is finished) and even enjoyed his New York Four/Five Minx offerings (shame that impri
Jesse A
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Closer to 3.5 stars. Not a bad premise, interesting start. Slow going at times.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review can also be found on my blog:

Earth has suffered several catastrophic environmental disasters in the space of a year, resulting in mass deaths and a new political order. Two marine conservation boats, part of the group Ninth Wave, survive the chaos but become separated from one another.

Text in yellow boxes detail the many ruinous events that led to environmental and societal collapse. In fact some events truly changed the landscape with coastli
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is great. It's not my usual cup, being a more technical and almost spy-thriller action adventure approach to post-apoc, but Brian Wood writes it so damn well. The detail is staggeringly impressive, not just what's depicted but what the narrator tells us: guns, military tech, ships, coordinates (especially), geography, geology, ecology, nuclear weapons, global commerce. The issues pause and go, we're told this and that about the world, shown the effects, and then we enter the scene and watch ...more
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I liked this story for its inventiveness and the art is clean and inspired. This story has an unbelievably diverse cast of characters you simply have to know more about. You have here an ex mercenary gone good guy in a world so devastated he and his band of volunteers may be the only pocket of goodness left. This tale tackles environmental issues, corruption, a quest to find the lost ship The Massive and issues of loyalty and that blurred line between right and wrong. Cant wait to read the next ...more
Stewart Tame
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very smart and thought-provoking. Also one of the best post-apocalyptic futures I've ever seen. No single disaster, but rather a host of small ones all happening in close proximity have pushed civilization to the brink in some parts of the world. The crew of the Kapital are searching for her sister ship, the Massive. Both belong to the environmentalist group, Ninth Wave. The crew members all have their various agenda as they travel the new world in their search. Good stuff!
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The story is not that impressive so far, but the art is so I call it even. I am very fascinating by this series thought because I get a strange pleasure out of reading about the big awesome natural disaster. Also the book's atmosphere is a bit mystical and not hopefull at all which is nice and fits well with the topic.

Let's see if the storyline gets better further in the series.
Jake Rossman
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the best written and plausibly real dystopian graphic novels, or fiction for that matter, that I've read in a long time. Wood cleverly nudges our current world economic, sociologic and meteorologic climates toward disfunction and concocts an intimate story of hope lost at sea. The first volume was a great introduction to the world and I can't wait to see where Wood takes this characters.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Wow! And here I thought Brian Wood amazed me enough with DMZ... I would venture to say that this book is even better! Wood is definetely a master in this kind of near future prospective stories, creating impressive background to sustain them and real flesh characters to drive them.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this graphic novel. Sometimes it jumped around too much but I like the concept and storyline.
I acquiesced in my East of West withdrawals and dug my heels into a new (but actually old) speculative series that's about a cataclysmic global disaster fucked on all fronts that decimates and destabilizes millions of people, nations, economies, etc. etc. across the planet, while this aviator-wearing white dude captains the conservationist-turned-sort of-vigilante-anti-pirate-but-sort-of-also-pirate vessel Kapital along with his crew and his two most trusted veteran child soldier crewmates (one ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ircb
This was a highly enjoyable read that carries with it the post-apocalypse vibe along with threads that feel mystical to me. This sets a very cool tone, but I felt like this volume left me a bit dissatisfied. There was not a real full story here for me. That said, I'm excited to pick up the next volume soon, however, and hopefully we'll see where this leads.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You gotta love comics. I know I do. I’ve been reading them for over four decades. Sure, my tastes have changed quite a bit – back when I started, it was things like Richie Rich along with a diet of Archie and Jughead, but, only a few years later, I picked up Batman, Superman, and the occasional Spider-man or Fantastic Four. What always amazed me about graphic storytelling of such nature is that the playing field was immeasurably larger than anything done in television or movies. In facts, the st ...more
I knew Brian Wood from his Northlanders and X-Men work, so when I heard he was starting a comic based on a post-apocalyptic environmental dystopia I was sure I'd eventually get to read it and probably like it. As luck had it, this was the first comic I got from NetGalley to review and I must say my expectations were met.

The Massive is a story placed on a Planet Earth after all environmental hazard-hell broke loose, and follows a group of environmental activists, as they deal with the new world,
Kristine (The Writer's Inkwell)
Posted originally on my blog:
The Writer's Inkwell
I found I had mixed feelings as I delved into this comic. On one hand, I was extremely interested in the "Crash", aka the highly destructive natural disasters that set the world as it was known on a crash course with extinction. I also was intrigued by the crew's mission to find their sister ship, The Massive, which disappeared suddenly. But by the end of the first volume, it seems like the crew is focused more on supplies and you rarely see any
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: digital
By Brian Wood and various artists. Present time. A year-long series of inexplicable environmental catastrophes, global society has collapsed and the world has become a dangerous place. I know, we've read this how many times? But, no, not really. Callum Israel is the captain of the Kapital, a trawler ship in the flotilla of Ninth Wave, an environmentalist organization with a reputation for hard-line ecological strikes but no record of violent action ever pinned to its name. What does it mean to b ...more
Patrick Nichol
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Now that we have proved the Mayans wrong, is there still an appetite for dystopian titles in our literary diet in 2013?

The short answer is - absolutely! We can't get enough of this stuff, from Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead juggernaut to TV's new hit Revolution.

Maybe it's the cynical political climate affecting the world today, with multiple wars, skirmishes, and scandals-du-jour. Or it's the constant threat of environmental Armageddon preached through the mass media.

Regardless of what you be
Read through this monthly in single issues. I enjoy the world Wood has created and the colorist maintained a good feel and atmosphere even through an artist switch. It's refreshing to get a 'post-apocalyptic' tale that doesn't look like all the others. I know that is helped by them being out at sea so much of the time, but wherever they have come aground the storytellers have avoided the usual disaster/crash story tropes in the feel of the story. This volume includes two arcs in which we learned ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very different look at the apocalypse. Well, to be fair it isn't a look at the apocalypse (in this case a cascading series of environmental disasters), but a look at a group riding it out, trying to continue their goals of environmental protection even as the environment has started protecting itself. It's a very focused story as the crew of trawler Kapital look for their sister ship The Massive. It doesn't sound like much, but the story is very kinetic and the main characters define t ...more
Andy Taylor
An environmental activist group called the Ninth Wave survives a global environmental disaster at sea aboard their two vessels the Kapital and the Massive. When the Massive goes missing the Kapital begins a global search for its sister ship.

The first 6 issues (plus backstory extras) contained in this volume layout the players and the situation. From the pacifist leader Israel Callum, who was once a security contractor, to his lover/first mate Mary, and his right hand man Mag Nagendra who's stil
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Absolutely fantastic, a tightly-written dystopian story that focuses rightly on the struggles of the main characters. While the backdrop involves dealing with survival after a series of increasingly violent environmental disasters completely ends society as we know it, the characters are what makes this story so compelling. A team of environmentalists aboard the Kapital are searching for their missing sister ship the Massive, all while trying to maintain their pacifist ideology in a time of viol ...more
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Brian Wood's history of published work includes nearly thirty volumes of genre-spanning original material.

From the 1500-page future war epic DMZ, the ecological disaster series The Massive, the American crime drama Briggs Land, the blistering youth culture action trilogy The Couriers, and the groundbreaking lo-fi dystopia Channel Zero, Wood has a proven track record of marrying socially-conscious

Other books in the series

The Massive (6 books)
  • The Massive, Vol. 2: Subcontinental
  • The Massive, Vol. 3: Longship
  • The Massive, Vol. 4: Sahara
  • The Massive, Vol. 5: Ragnarok
  • The Massive: Ninth Wave