I Read ORCHID #1

13 Nov

by Mike Hansen

Orchid 1 cover A(Forgive my absence from the site the last several days – there’ve been various other things getting in the way, but I’ve got a stack o’ stuff to share with y’all – so let’s get back to it, shall we?)

In recent years, there have been a number of celebrities that have dipped a toe into comics, usually in the hope of roping writers and artists into developing their ideas into something they can sell to Hollywood. In my experience, most of these haven’t been very good, but there are a few exceptions (most notably The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance). Fortunately, Orchid is another title that can be added to the Good Pile.

Orchid #1 introduces us to a future world of surging sea levels, mutated animals, and very little civilization. Creator Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine) writes a terrific introduction to an alternate world that’s part Conan the Barbarian and part Dungeons & Dragons (which makes sense, given his admitted love for D&D), with what’s left of humanity doing whatever is necessary to stay alive in a world where the strong oppress and exploit the less fortunate. Morello has made no secret of his political worldview, but Orchid is no propaganda: this is a fully fleshed-out world, and the first issue takes its time with a proper setup and introduction of the main characters as they run from the oppressive and powerful.

Tom Morello playing with Rage Against The Mach...

Tom Morello with Rage Against the Machine. (Image via Wikipedia)

And I’ve gotta take the time to give props to artist Scott Hepburn: his layouts are clear, his pacing solid and directorial, and his finished style an excellent combination of Rick Leonardi, Sean Phillips, and Tim Sale. I can’t recall seeing Hepburn’s work before, but he makes his mark on comics here.

Having read thousands and thousands of comics, I’m not often surprised or impressed by new work, but this series did the trick. I don’t know about you, but being surprised by something while having no expectations is always more of a thrill for me than going into something with high expectations and having them met. (Sorry for building yours up so you won’t have quite the same thrill, but it’s great nonetheless!)

Orchid #1 is published by Dark Horse, and it’s only $1.00 (with subsequent issues $3.50). But Morello gives us a bonus: each issue includes a Passcode to download a free Nightwatchman song from his website, and while your mileage may vary as far as wanting a soundtrack to your comics, the the music itself is great (and shows how essential a component he is in Rage Against the Machine).

This issue has reportedly been selling out everywhere, but the current issue of Previews indicates that it’s “Now Available”‘; I know that Discount Comic Book Service still has copies on hand (and for only 60 cents each!). I think it’ll be one of the best bargains you’ll find in comics this year.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “I Read ORCHID #1”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Read KEY OF Z #1 « All Day Comics - November 14, 2011

    […] I talked about how much I enjoyed Orchid #1, I wasn’t expecting fate to present me with another great new title so quickly, much less […]

  2. I read MYSTIC #1-4 « All Day Comics - November 17, 2011

    […] I Read ORCHID #1 (alldaycomics.com) […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: