Created by Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson, The Massive is a new ongoing series that depicts life after "The Crash," the kind of apocalyptic ecological disaster that's been predicted for many years. Naturally (no pun intended), The Massive's environmental themes make it the obvious choice for a paperless digital promotion for this year's Earth Day. On April 22, Dark Horse Digital will release for free the three-part Massive prologue that appeared previously in Dark Horse Presents, which leads into the series' formal first issue in June.In The Massive, what was once the "first world" has become the "third world," and a team of seafaring conservationists search the oceans for their missing sister ship while they try to figure out what it means to be an environmentalist when the end of the world has come and gone. Speaking with ComicsAlliance last year, Wood said the book is his thematic and tonal follow-up to the long-running and critically acclaimed DMZ, which depicted a future in which the United States became once again divided between the Union and secessionists, and where the island of Manhattan became a demilitarized zone caught in the middle.

The Massive debuted initially as a feature in the Dark Horse Presents anthology, and it's that material -- 24 pages in all -- that the publisher is offering for free this Sunday, April 22, via its digital comics store. Here's a preview:

Wood also told us that The Massive represents a rededication to the single-issue periodical format, and to that end every print issue will contain supplemental material that will not be available digitally nor in collected editions. Dark Horse has taken the step of creating some handsome pre-order forms that curious readers can print out and give to their local comics retailers to ensure The Massive's availability in their stores.

The Massive ongoing beings in June and will be graced with cover artwork by John Paul Leon. Below is your first look at the artist's cover for issue #3.

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