This arc of The Massive has been overflowing with big narrative reveals (not the least of which is the admission by Brian Wood himself on Twitter that Mary is actually the main character) and some of the most gorgeous art the series has seen, yet it’s clear that it’s intended to be read best as one distinct experience and not chopped up into singles.
The issue opens with Mary’s crew still fending off bandits up until they arrive in Morocco, with the tough realization that they’re probably all expendable. Yes, Truck 205 finally reaches the end of the line. (“Truck 205” would be the name of my North African punk band, by the way.)
In the last issue, we saw Mary as early as 600 years ago. If not meant metaphorically (and I don’t think it is), this certainly confirms Mary is not at all what she appears to be. It means that Yusup was right in his suspicious line of questioning aimed at Cal in the last arc, that I was right as far back as #5 when I raised an eyebrow at Mary holding her breath under icy water for an inordinately long period of time, that Cal and others probably just choose to see what they want to see, despite evidence to the contrary not adding up, and that maybe me postulating that Mary was some sort of Mother Nature / Gaia / Sea Goddess figure was not far off. I mean, if Zee can be the physical manifestation of NYC in Wood’s series DMZ in a more figurative sense, then why not take this all a step further?
Brian Wood continues to make a series of suggestions like this in a startling montage sequence in this issue. Danijel Zezelj kills it in that sequence, capturing grandeur and power and sadness, as we witness man’s “progress” on Planet Earth. Before Mary and crew reach the post-Crash oasis that is Morocco, Mary has something of an identity meltdown, wondering aloud if man has learned anything after hundreds of years willfully killing the planet. She reminded me of Jed Bartlett in that old episode of The West Wing, after Josh gets shot I think, with POTUS screaming to the heavens in a cathedral, trying to appeal to some higher authority. The Crash should have been a wake up call, but instead it’s feeling more like a call to arms, for man’s individual inner greed to once again trump anything that would benefit the greater good and set a bold new direction for the global survivors.
There are just six issues left and I’m dying to see if Mary will return to the fold with Ninth Wave, what news of the baby means to the crew, how Cal’s health is holding up, and how further answers about Mary’s true nature, her relationship to The Crash, and the fate of The Massive itself will all play out.