Great Pacific is a touchy title for me. It has a pretty strong political element that’s at the core of the book’s plot and also takes a stance that I don’t completely agree with. On one hand, my job in reviewing the book is to judge its merits as a story and a piece of art. On the other hand, a book with such a major political focus is asking to be judged politically. With that in mind, I’ll quickly sum up my political opinion here: Great Pacific interestingly blurs the line between reality and fantasy, fact and fiction. It’s a particularly interesting element of the story, but becomes a questionable choice when combined with an agenda. Here’s the official description of Great Pacific #7 from Image:
“TRASHED!” Part Two
Throwing his life of privilege and comfort aside, fugitive oil heir Chas Worthington plants a flag on the floating continent of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and proclaims it his own, sovereign nation. But he’s not the only one who’s come to check out Earth’s newest, strangest frontier!
The solicit describes the Garbage Patch as a new frontier, and that characterization is where the story is at it’s strongest. The science, real or not, is very cool, and Joe Harris has landed on a concept -that the Patch is a real, developing continent, for all that it’s made of garbage- that should prove an endless source of plot twists. The political maneuvering back at Chas’ company is also interesting, but the characters, on the whole, are flat, and stereotyped: the spoiled heir trying to make good, the voice of reason best friend, the corrupt executive, the “you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours” government agent. Chas’ admission that he’s still acting for personal gain is a decent attempt to break away from the mold, but hasn’t been sufficiently developed yet. Like Batman‘s Gotham City, the Patch itself is a character, and so far it’s the strongest one.
Martín Morazzo‘s art is extremely impressive. He constantly finds new ways to present the Patch. It’s ultimately a dull, homogenous blob, but he constantly shifts the landscape and changes angles to keep things fresh. A couple awesome panels view Chas from underneath the Patch, looking up through it as if it were ice, rather than plastic. Even the Patch’s apparent homogeneity is revealed, on closer inspection, to be the result of meticulous, endlessly fascinating pencil work. Some of the problems from last issue -squashed, stiff faces- remain, but they’re improving. The greatest weakness is the colors by Tiza Studio, which look like they were applied as an afterthought.
Great Pacific is still young, but is already finding its footing. The problems it has could be handled with relative ease, and then we’ll have another Image book that’s a force to be reckoned with.