Brian Wood on the ‘Subcontinental’ Utopia of ‘The Massive’ [Exclusive]
The story of life after “The Crash,” a catastrophic ecological disaster that’s left the world in ruins (and just awfully damp), Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson’s The Massive launched earlier this year to become one of Dark Horse’s most popular creator-owned series. Captain Callum Israel’s quest to find his Das Kapital’s lost sister ship, The Massive, has seen the (former?) environmentalist and his crew encounter ruthless pirates, an underwater Hong Kong, Antarctic strongholds, and dangerous derelicts, all the while challenging the ideals of the pacifist heroes and presenting a reality that real-life climate scientists warn us may not be so far fetched.
Beginning with The Massive #7, Wood and regular series artists Gary Brown and Dave Stewart’s new story arc, “Subcontinental,” tackles the theme of the utopia — in this case, one grown out of abandoned oil rigs and populated with hundreds of people who believe they’ve found the key to life at the end of the world. It’s a topic that seems to come up every election cycle, but as Wood told ComicsAlliance via email, there’s more going on in “Subcontinental” than what the people in charge want you to see.
So in this arc, called “Subcontinental”, the crew of the Kapital stumble across a floating city called Moksha Station, a community built from stolen oil platforms and populated with refugees from the Arabian Sea/Bay of Bengal regions, which have been totally devastated by the Crash. The people at Moksha claim to be an evolved sort of people, a “new post-Crash community” that vow to leave the bad ways of the past in the past, and build a sort of Utopia out there in the open ocean.
The crew of the Kapital arrive at this place, which on the face of it seems pretty nice. The affable director tours them around, there’s a bar, etc. But when a huge storm rolls in the security protocols kick into place and suddenly this place doesn’t feel evolved at all. The Kapital is sequestered under armed guard, crew members are confined to quarters, and so on. Mary, who at the best of times is mysterious and unpredictable, bugs out and starts systematically taking out the communications array like a crazy person. Mag and Georg and Ryan, with an agenda of their own, find someone on-station to decode the transmitter they found at the end of #3, the one that seems to hold crucial information about the missing Massive.
So on the supposed utopia rig city, everyone’s running some kind of game on someone else. The storm is hammering the place with sixty foot waves, and lurking beneath the station, on the brink of the Ceylon Abyssal, is a secret that can destabilize the region.
This story, “Subcontinental,” begins in The Massive #7, which goes on sale December 12 in finer comics shops and digitally from Dark Horse Digital, where you can also find issues #1-6. Like all issues of The Massive, the print edition includes exclusive content like dossiers, biographies, timelines, photographs, propaganda and other text-based features that expand upon the fictional world of the series. This material will not be reprinted in collected editions. Speaking of those, the first of The Massive’s paperback collections goes on sale in March 2013.