The Great Pacific... I wish I had something clever or witty to write after this but truthfully I don’t. The comic, since its inception a year ago, is about a rich kid who runs away from home after his father dies and finds a mysterious island made entirely of trash in the Pacific Ocean and then decides to colonize it with his inheritance. This is actually based partially on fact, because there is a large area of the Pacific littered with garbage, though it is not quite an “island.” So, here we are this month with issue #10 and the final part of a 4-part arc called “Nation Building.”
The main character, Chas Worthington, has always been a character that, to me, has toed the fine line of insufferable douche rich boy and benevolent philanthropist. It's one of the main problems I’ve had getting into this comic; the character is, frankly, unlikable, and it doesn’t help that he’s a ginger either, I mean how many good comic characters are ginger? The only one that comes to mind is Shade the Changing Man, but that’s really beside the point. In this issue he’s become this oblivious dictator who doesn’t realize he is becoming one. He truly thinks everything he does is for the good of his new nation that he has built on this island of relegated garbage. But, in reality, he’s just as corrupt as any politician, albeit less harmful. There are some nefarious terrorist players in this arc too that have been trying to destroy the infrastructure of the island and kill Chas. All have been somewhat unsuccessful in one-way or another, but still pose a formidable threat.
Somewhere along the line, this comic became too overly political, and in an almost “thisguyhasnoideawhatheistalkingboutandmakingthingsupoutofhisass kind of way.” Maybe that’s how they wanted the character of Chas to be, or maybe it’s the writers own personal political ideals and knowledge shoehorned into the comic. Either way, its not terribly interesting. Instead it should focus on the more interesting, pseudo sci-fi side of the comic that involves these mutated creatures as well as a whole race of indigenous people that inhabit the island of garbage. I feel like the writer, Joe Harris, is unsure which way he wants to go with this comic, so its an amalgamation of political and sci-fi. It does delve into the sci-fi aspect a little bit again in this issue, concerning these electric anglerfish, but its mostly glimpses and teases of the answers to the mysteries of the island, most likely to be saved for future arcs in the series.
I would love if the comic dropped the ruse of trying to be a political thriller and delved more into these mysteries. All of Worthington’s motives for building a nation on this island are seemingly childish and pointless. It should be treated more like a scientific discovery instead of one selfish rich boy's idealistic idea to build a nation in his own image.
With all that being said, it is still interesting and original enough of a comic that, while I would recommend checking it out for yourself, it’s not something I willingly seek out or look forward to every month. I do enjoy reading it after an arc has finished and spending time catching up on 4 or 5 issues, which is what I did before this review.
The art in this book, handled by Martin Morazzo, has his moments. It seems his strengths are when he has a nice, sprawling scene to draw where everything is nicely detailed and very expansive. A good example of this is a page where he draws the skyline of Manhattan. But when it comes to drawing the characters, there is one thing that has nagged at me since the first issue, and that’s the teeth. Every character has these large, buck toothed front teeth, and I mean EVERY character. It would be exceedingly hard to differentiate between the bland faces and large teeth if it wasn’t for the hair of the characters. Which brings me to Chas’s friend. He has a head that’s drawn like a rectangle with an upside down triangle for a chin; it’s an awful looking character design. The coloring in the comic works well with the art. All of the primary colors used, like blues and reds, add brightness, while the browns and beiges serve to offset the bright colors. Together, it's cohesive enough to be pleasing to the eyes.
I would say the art is the biggest drawback of the comic to me. Its not entirely pleasing to look at most times, and I cant stress the thing about the buck teeth enough. It's one of those things that, once you see it, you cant unsee it, and its infuriating sometimes how bad it looks seeing the same feature used on every character. The story has its flaws, but not in a way that takes away from the overall enjoyment and interesting potential for what this comic could eventually become. It’s still in its infancy, and I don’t know how long Harris plans to go with this comic, but I would love to see it reach new heights.
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About the Author - Wildcard
Dustin prefers to go by the name of Wildcard, and he wont tell you his last name because then he would have to kill you. Or mostly because it's unpronounceable to most people. His love of comics formed during the 90's when Superman was dying and Batman was broken. Years later when touring with a band around 2008 the only thing he had to do was read extensive amounts of comics and catch up on all the missed years of stories, therefore the wealth of knowledge in his head is insurmountable by anyones standards. He considers himself extremely opinionated when it comes to comic books or any form of media, which has always caused arguments and butt hurt a plenty due to his outspoken opinions on such things. In his spare time he writes some comics he hopes to get published one day and is a graphic designer. He sometimes wishes Nicolas Cage was his real father. Hail Sagan. Follow Wildcard on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
“Your head's like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune's all we are.”
― Grant Morrison
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