Is It Good? Great Pacific #9 Review
14 Aug, 2013
Imagine a new country sprouted up from almost nowhere: How would the world react? Probably hostile, but if that same country was made on top of the Great Pacific garbage patch, I’m sure most folks wouldn’t give two hoots.
Well, Great Pacific is proposing just such a thing has happened and it comes complete with an ambitious young entrepreneur named Chas in the same vein as Rockefeller. Chas seeks to make this new country, minted as New Texas, into a viable and recognized nation. That’s a lot to chew on, especially when it comes to comics, which begs the question, is it good?
Great Pacific #9 (Image Comics)
This issue is part three of the second major story arc from creators Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo. An interesting facet of this comic is that while it is complicated, it isn’t at the same time. The concepts at play require a certain intelligence of the reader to truly comprehend and enjoy yet the story is set at a pace that’s very easy to follow.
Although Chas Worthington is capable of creating amazing technology, what he’s really trying to accomplish is to build a country — which is proving to be far more difficult for him. At its root this book seems to be more about the difficulty of building a nation in a complex world by a young man with complexities of his own.
That can’t be good PR.
This is a conundrum of a comic because you could breeze through it and not enjoy half of what the creators are setting out to do. The overall meaning is buried, much like the pollution that the country is built on, and while there are moments where it goes deep, there are other moments it grows thin. It’s hard to pin down what it’s setting out to do exactly, but it’s important to note it’s trying to do big things.
The issue opens with Chas reviewing some tapes of horrible acts an African country inflicts on its people. Chas needs to gain allies in order to get any clout with the U.N. and unfortunately the African country is the only one that will take him. At the same time there is a terrorist afoot and it’s yet to be revealed who they are or why they’re blowing buildings up.
So many X’s.
The story is progressing very slowly, but when you put this book down and actually think about what happened you realize the gravity of the actions the characters have taken. That’s the rub: do you want a book to blast you off your feet with entertainment, or something to chew on and think about? There aren’t too many books out there that offer that sort of enjoyment. If you put yourself in Chas’ shoes you’ll realize there’s a lot of hard choices to be made and on top of all that Chas is the type of character that will always surprise you. These are the things that make this comic so enjoyable to read.
This book leads up to a conclusion that puts Chas in a tight spot, but it also allows him to control the situation. That seems to be a blessing and a curse for him as he’s dealing with the real world now that he’s leader and not some boardroom of chairmen.
The art by Martin Morazzo is all about size and weight. The characters faces have depth as much as the trash that pops out of the ground here and there. It all helps ground the story which is what this comic is all about. Grounded, real world concepts playing around in a world that might only live in science fiction.
Meet and greet.
- Size and weight to the imagery that grounds everything nicely
- Intriguing concepts being explored
- It’ll be tough for new readers to join in
- Decompressed story that’ll take some patience
At the center of this series are a few things that keep everything rolling, not least of which is the strong writing of Chas, this idealistic yet arrogant young leader. Another is the concept of a nation growing out of thin air and how that’d be perceived by the world. The long game for this story is going to be incredible if it can be pulled off. The concept behind this book is so fresh and original I’m nearly salivating for the stories that can spin out of it.
That said, reading this in the single issue format makes it tricky to enjoy. Harris is writing something that’s incredibly difficult to make interesting, especially in the comic book format which is lacking in human actors and professional cinematography and soundtrack. The series should be commended for making such difficult concepts interesting, but reading it in the single issue format, it’s hard to be elated with the pace and the decompression of the story. As it stands it’s a comic to read with a glass of whiskey and a few moments to spare. You’ll need them to think on it.
Is It Good?
It is, if you’re ready to take the plunge and give this book a chance. If you want a quick single issue read to entertain you skip it for the trade.