Filed under: Our favourite things, Uncategorized | Tags: Alasdair Stuart, Chas Worthington, Great Pacific, Joe Harris, Martin Morazzo, Pacific Gyre
Great Pacific Issue 1
Written by Joe Harris
Art and Colors by Martin Morazzo
Letters by Doug E. Sherwood
Published by Image Comics
Chas Worthington III has everything. He’s a trust fund baby, a billionaire playboy of exactly the sort that gets kidnapped by terrorists, or trapped on a mysterious island only to be rescued five years later, returning to their home city as a near-demented pseudo ninja. However, there’s one big difference between Chas and Tony Stark and Ollie Queen; Chas isn’t waiting around to have greatness thrust upon him.
I remember backing this book when it was put up as a Kickstarter and being gutted that it didn’t make its target amount. It’s a real pleasure then to see it come out anyway, especially as this joins Think Tank, Storm Dogs and Comeback as part of Image’s increasingly clear, albeit unofficial, bid to become kind of modern science fiction comics.
Joe Harris’ script neatly apes the tropes of the billionaire playboy character and continually expands on them, showing us Chas putting himself in harm’s way, turning down rewards he doesn’t feel he deserves and at the same time carefully building an image of himself as a feckless little rich boy. It’s a difficult line to walk but Harris absolutely nails it and Chas, along with his Happy Hogan-esque sidekick Alex, are extremely likable at the same time as being brash young WASP kids. You can tell when Chas is turning on the charm too and when it’s not on, Harris shows us a blisteringly clever, almost revolutionary young man. The idea he has, involving the Pacific Gyre, the vast island of waste in the Pacific ocean is hinted at here but what we see is fascinating. Chas Worthington has a plan; he’s going to save the world, not just because it needs it but because that’s where the real money is.
A book, and a concept like this, lives and dies on its art and Martin Morazzo, credited as co-creator by the way, turns in superb work. His lines are clean and precise and he excels at the natural scale of the Gyre in particular, but is equally at home with character moments. Sam, the foreman of one of Chas’ oil rigs is a particular standout, a bluff, friendly, perpetually concerned man whose confrontation with Alex is powered as much by fear and concern for the young man as anger. Similarly, Alex’s conversation with his Uncle Ted is beautifully done; a moment of quiet familial bonding before the storm hits.
I’ve reviewed a lot of great science fiction this week and Great Pacific is up there with the best of them. This is contemporary, smart, idea-driven SF that’s based around the principles of altruism, revolution and sheer flat out adventure. How could I not recommend a book like that?
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