Another entry in the eco-thriller sub-genre is Great Pacific #1-6 (Image Comics, $2.99 each), from writer Joe Harris and artist Martin Morazzo.
This takes a very different tack from The Massive, focusing on a fascinating real-life phenomenon known as the Great Pacific Gyre — a spot in the middle of the ocean where tons of plastic refuse has congealed into a kind of floating island. Harris injects Chas Worthington III, an idealistic oil company heir, into this environment, bringing along with him an experimental technology that could break down plastic waste into useful components like oil or fresh water.
After staging his own death and embezzling billions from the family business, Chas and his major domo Alex set about inhabiting the gyre and establishing it under international law as the nation of New Texas. Of course, very little goes according to plan, with pirates, lost nukes, native populations and a mutant octopus entering the mix.
Harris’ story is more fantastic, but with the gyre itself being real, it works really well. Morazzo is obviously influenced by Frank Quitely, though his style evolves for the better over the course of the first six issues. The colors by Tiza Studio are also of note for adding to the distinctive look of Morazzo’s open-line style with a distinctive and consistent palette that never overwhelms or obscures.
The ending to the first arc includes a nice surprise twist that I think will make the second arc more grounded and possibly even more exciting. This book has become a genuine hit for Harris and Morozzo and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it.