HomeAll postsOrchid #1 by Tom Morello, art by Scott Hepburn

Orchid #1 by Tom Morello, art by Scott Hepburn

Orchid issue 1

a review by Nalini Haynes

The promotional blurb for Orchid says:

“When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Now, human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness, from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful, who overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortresslike cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves.”

This pretty much covers the preview issue as no characters are introduced. The world is the focus for this preview. The story is intended to focus on Orchid, a teenage prostitute who is more than her position in life, but we don’t meet Orchid in this preview issue.

The artwork was interesting, with clashing colours depicting the pollution ravaging the world causing destruction. Monsters rose from the sea to illustrate genetic codes being rewritten. The artwork in the interior of the comic contrasts with the cover, which was a non-sequituer – surely the cover should be a hint of what is to come?

I am intrigued by the story pretext but I am concerned that an all male team is creating a comic based on a female central character who is a prostitute. This could be brilliant but it could be yet another comic series aimed at providing fan service to the ‘adolescent male of all ages’. The jury is definitely out on this one but I’ll watch with interest.

Digital Dark Horse seems to have mastered digital comic publishing pretty well, with panels flowing well. Closeups showed dialogue then jumped out to reveal the full splash screen where appropriate, automatically returning to closeups of panels. Some panels were cropped to fit the program rather than fitting without cropping, however this was the best e-comic reading experience I’ve had to date.

Originally published in Dark Matter issue 5, September 2011.  This post has been pre-dated to reflect the original publication date.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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