SUPERMASSIVE by KYLE HIGGINS, RYAN PARROTT, MELISSA FLORES, MAT GROOM, DANIELE DI NICUOLO and WALTER BAIAMONTE
(editor: Michael Busuttil)
Image Comics/Black market Narrative (#Massiveverse)
SUPERMASSIVE is Here!
Welcome to an all new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast!
In January of 2022, an event debuted spiraling out of the pages of the hit Image Comics series (via Black market Narrative): Radiant Black by Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa. The event welcomed comic readers to new heroes such as Rogue Sun, Inferno Girl Red and The Dead Lucky (via cameo). From that book, an exciting universe was born that has energized fans with its creativity and characters. The event was SuperMassive. The universe was The MassiveVerse!
The fallout from the book kicked off solo series for both Rogue Sun (by Ryan Parrott & Abel) and the Dead Lucky (by Melissa Flores and French Carlomagno). Inferno Girl Red by Mat Groom and Erica D’urso made its’ transition from Kickstarter to Image in January of 2023. With the success of those series alone, fans have been clamoring for the heroes to reunite in another crossover. Their wishes have been granted with another Massiveverse event hitting the local comic shops on May 24th, 2023!
SUPERMASSIVE by KYLE HIGGINS, RYAN PARROTT, MELISSA FLORES, MAT GROOM, DANIELE DI NICUOLO and WALTER BAIAMONTE (editor: Michael Busuttil) brings together the heroes of the MassiveVerse for an epic adventure. Let’s not delay any longer and take a closer look at what’s happening here, shall we?
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
For anyone needing a quick refresher on each character and what they do: Here’s MassiveVerse 101
The Story Begins Here
The story begins Enfield, England in 1412, A battle is taking place between the Rogue Sun of that era and a mysterious figure known as Thomasin. In Rogue Sun’s possession is an obelisk that he is going to great lengths to keep. It is in a losing effort as Rogue Sun is defeated by Thomasin. She takes the obelisk and uses it to open a portal, leading to an unknown location. As she walks thru, she leaves the obelisk behind.
Fast forwarding to present time, Rogue Sun is sneaking into a museum in New York looking for the obelisk which has a personal connection to Caleb Hawthorne. With the object in hand, Rogue Sun flies to Lockport, Illinois to recruit Radiant Black on his latest mission. Readers see an awkward moment with Marshall, Nathan, Caleb and Dylan “meeting” for the first time. All the while, the actions of Rogue Sun have garnered the attention of Morrow and its’ latest security addition: Bibiana Lopez-Yang aka The Dead Lucky.
What is so special about this obelisk? Readers quickly find out it is the key to opening the door to the Holy Grail! With the power that could come from finding it, it is no wonder why all parties have varied vested interest in acquiring it. “With Great power comes great responislbilty” takes a whole new meaning as this story progresses. Once all parties finally meet in Enfield, the heroes open the door into an adventure they (and readers) won’t soon forget.
Readers will be glued to the pages seeing how these individuals survive the challenges in their way of acquiring the grail. The action is box-office as they progress thru on their quest. There is no shortage of drama with all the personalities involved.
They make for some of the best moments in this issue when the clashes arise. However, no one is ready for the surprises mixed in for the latter portion of the book. The closing act will catch readers off-guard, but the payoff is sure to please. If that wasn’t enough, just wait for the final pages. I can’t stress this enough, when you hear “Massive-Verse Event” that means AN EVENT! Readers get a total picture that all ties together for a satisfying conclusion and why when all these heroes come together, readers can only describe it as “Super Massive”!
BREAKDOWN: The Massiveverse writing team plays to the strengths of their characters to make for a very enjoyable read. Marshall’s comedic timing is spot-on in breaking up the more dramatic moments. Bibiana also sneaks in a well-timed “Indiana Jones” line that works perfectly as well. The story itself is an intriguing one as each hero is tested on how far would they go to get everything. The emotional toll the mission takes is easy to connect with as there are deep personal roots behind each motivation.
The action scenes are well paced, giving the characters enough time to properly interact in-between, making for the best scenes. Not everything goes smoothly and that makes for added tension. It comes off very organic and not just “another super-hero team-up”. Each character gets an ample amount of panel time to move their own stories along with the main plot. The final act has great surprises that raises a few questions along the way, but that’s for another time.
No spoilers on those moments, but rest assured, the readers will be excited to see them transpire. The fallout ends things with complete closure before sending everyone onto their next paths. The epilogue is something special that fans won’t be expecting but this goes into how creative the teams are behind this event. Get ready!
Di Nicuolo and Baiamonte add such energy to the pages of this event. The action panels waste no time in setting a frenetic pace. There are a few 2 full page panels that are absolutely incredible with one being a game-changer later in the issue. The art team also presents Thomasin as a compelling character through the various panels. Her story comes across as one of redemption moreso than sheer searching for power.
The interactions she has with Bibiana come across as if they both share some common themes between them and why they are invested in the Grail. The comedic expressions Marshall shows in more serious moments work with giving the readers a solid break before diving back into the drama enfolding. The closing moments ramp up the action before slowly bringing everyone down to say goodbye for now. Excellent epilogue to close out the event with an image that will have readers talking without question.
FINAL POINT: 9 OUT OF 10
When a book has the billing “Super Massive”, it gives itself a high benchmark to hit. Without question, The Massive-Verse team accepts and exceeds the challenge mixing in superb writing and energetic artwork in an adventure fitting for the title. There’s a reason why this universe is comics’ most exciting one. The event is an absolute must have on New Comic Book Day!
Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know what you thought of Supermassive 2023! Thanks for reading Parlay points On Nerd Initiative!