Comic Review – The Massive: Ninth Waive #5

  • Writer: Brian Wood
  • Artist: Garry Brown
  • Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
  • Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
  • Cover Art: J.P. Leon
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Release Date: April 13, 2016


The Massive: Ninth Wave #5  by writer Brian Wood and artist Garry Brown is the penultimate chapter of the mini-series by Dark Horse Comics. Ninth Waive is the prequel series to The Massive which follows the adventure of Callum Israel and his crew of eco-warriors defending the Earth before the environmental disaster known as The Crash took place. Each issue of the mini-series is a one-shot story. In The Massive: Ninth Waive #5, the crew undertake a mission off the coast of a war-ravaged country.


Brief Synopsis

Associated Press information about a group of civil war refugees trapped in the Mideast is picked up by the Ninth Waive. Callum decides to extend their mission beyond the protection of the environment and wildlife.  It should extend to humans in need who are also part of the Earth’s ecosystem.  

Their head of security, Mags, is not in agreement. The Ninth Waive should not get involved. By rescuing the refugees, the Ninth Waive will taking a side in a civil war. Enemies will be made, even through their intentions are altruistic. 

Are they prepared to accept the consequences?  

The Massive: Ninth Wave #5 Cover by J.P. Leon
The Massive: Ninth Wave #5 Cover by J.P. Leon


The Creative Team

A Gestalt is a group of whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The creative team of  Ninth Waive is a perfect example of one in action. 

The all-star team that brought readers The Massive are back together again for Ninth Waive #5.  Writer Brian Wood is a writer of titles ranging from Rebels for Dark Horse to Starve for Image Comics. He has teamed again with Garry Brown on art and Jordie Bellaire on colors. 

Brian Wood is one of the most prolific and versatile writers in comic books today. Writing history to space opera based stories spanning many different publishers he is true Renaissance man.  

Garry Brown’s Art style lends to the gravitas of the story. The rougher pencil style and thicker lines fit the darker tone of the subject matter.  Paired with Joride Bellaire’s superb coloring, the art does more than  justice to the script by Wood.

Bellaire’s colors add more texture to the art, from the glow of a red flare tossed in a dark cargo hold to the rosy sky and blue water of the beached head where the refugees are camped.    

The Verdict

This series adds more character background and insight into the Ninth Waive. New readers can not only start with this series but pick up any issue and enjoy the story as a standalone. Having the same creative team on the majority of the previous series issues and the mini-series give the series a signature style.

Although missions of the Ninth Waive were clearer pre-Crash, in this issue we find that was not always case. Callum must make a tough decision that may be the right moral choice, but will leave a lasting impression on the standing of his organization within the world community.

This is another solid issue of the mini-series, a morality tale that is recommended reading as a stand alone story. 

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About the author

Christopher Calloway

Christopher Calloway is the small press and idependent comic creator editor for Word of the Nerd. He is long-time comic book reader and collector who is passionate about comics and their creators.

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