Review – Orchid #6

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Published By: Dark Horse

On the anniversary of General China’s death, Anzio’s impending execution will be a spectacle to mark the day the Rebellion was crushed. On a day known as “Final Victory Day”, all around bad guy and Penuel’s Lord, Tomo Wolfe is trying to pump up his subjects for the execution. He is trying to convince them that they are better off than most and with Anzio’s death they will start anew, cleansed and revitalized. However, things won’t go so smooth for Wolfe because as we learned in the last issue Simon, Orchid, Opal and their new friends were on a mission to rescue Anzio. I think by now we know that this bunch is resilient and that they never stop until they succeed in righting whatever wrongs the elite have committed. Even with their never say die attitude, things begin to look grim, that is until the mask is brought out and Opal puts a whole new spin on ass whoopin’! Opal’s on a mission and nothing can stop her and everyone will soon learn that it’s just best to stay out of her way.

Every month I read Orchid thinking it has to have reached its peak or at least plateaued, but it never fails, every month I’m blown away at how amazing it really is. It just continues to get better, which is insane because it’s unbelievable to begin with. The characters and storylines are so rich and in this issue we get some back story on Tomo Wolfe, supreme leader of Penuel. Unlike some of the other back stories we have gotten on the bad guys, this one made me feel no sympathy for the character. He’s terrible, some people just are. Opal in this issue (just like past issues) is awesome, she has made up her mind and no one is going to stand in her way. Adding Anzio to the group is going to add an additional dynamic because of his die-hard freedom fighter roots. The art is perfect, and each month I look forward to seeing what new animal hybrid concoction will be introduced. The dialog is touching, maddening and inspiring (quite a feat really). It’s safe to say that you really need to be reading this comic. It’s at the top of my list each month for the comics I’m most looking forward to and each month it never ceases to amaze me!

Release Date: April 11th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Orchid #5

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue of Orchid is all about journeys and those elements that make them successful both as a group and on an individual level. Orchid, Simon and Opal are on a mission to find Westin, an explosives expert and old friend of Opal and General China in Gath. No sooner do they enter Gath than Orchid finds trouble in the form of her old pimp and neither of them are happy to see one another. Orchid, showing a side of herself that we have never seen before, unsure, scared and kind of weak, becomes frozen. Cue Opal as she swoops in and does to Orchid’s pimp what should be done to all pimps. Opal really shows Orchid and Simon just how bad ass she really is and shows the reader that this woman is no joke! After searching for some time, our crew finds Westin but are dismayed when they find out he no longer works for the cause due to some losses, instead he only works for money. Believing all hope is lost, Opal has yet another trick up her sleeve and the freedom fighters are off to Fortress Penuel to rescue Simon’s comrade Anzio, who has been on his own journey as he has been captured and tortured for some time. This issue shows Orchid growing and developing a lot, she asks Opal for help as she wants to learn to be a fighter/killer like Opal. However, Opal teaches her something far greater than learning how to kill. Will they get to Anzio in time or will they be too late and find themselves facing yet another setback in their mission?

After a brief hiatus Orchid has come back better than ever. This issue is great and I love seeing the different sides of Orchid’s character developing and becoming much deeper. She shows vulnerability for the first time and I think the relationship developing between her and Opal will be an amazing one. Seeing the no holds barred Opal is also fantastic, she’s a kick ass women and unapologetic (as she should be) about it! Everything as usual is on point in this issue, the art is perfect, the dialog both inspiring and frustrating and the story wonderful. Tom Morello has done an outstanding job with this comic and really has something special here. If you’re not reading it yet, you really are missing out on something great!

Release Date: March 14th, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Orchid #4

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover Massimo Carnevale
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with the bad guys still searching for General China’s elusive mask. We are introduced to the new man in charge of retrieving the mask for the “Noble” ruler. The new man in charge, Don Barrabas, is a Dhalsimesque (Street Fighter fans know) mute warrior type. We learn of his life and that since his birth he has been “different.” Terrified of him, his family decides cruelty is the only answer (who here is really demon spawn?) After years of torture he rebels and understandably hurts those who have hurt him for so many years. This of course did nothing for his popularity and he was yet again judged and banished. Taken in by the ruler, Barrabas (for his own gain undoubtedly) now does the ruler’s dirty work, including getting the mask and killing all those associated with it. Completely unaware of the hell that is coming their way, Orchid, Simon and the rest of their small crew are heading out in search of help. Before they reach their destination tragedy strikes and everything changes. Orchid however, is finally on board and that will be bad for anyone she considers an enemy.

After each issue of Orchid I believe it has gotten as good as it’s going to get and then the next issue comes out and I’m blown away. You feel so deeply for these characters (even some of the bad guys) that when bad things happen to them it’s heartbreaking. The tale of revolution and uprising never gets old. The dialog, story and concept are some of the best I have ever read, it’s so complex and compelling that I don’t want the issue to end. The art is phenomenal and really encompasses the feelings that each character would be feeling in their particular situations. If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this issue and the series as a whole, if you haven’t begun to read this yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

Release Date: January 11th, 2012

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review: Orchid #3

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse

Massimo Carnevale Cover

In the last issue of Orchid we saw Orchid, Simon and Yehzu about to die as a result of genetically modified, totally scary, extra-large bears.  Just as death seemed imminent they were rescued by a mysterious woman who rode in on her trusty steed.  This issue begins eleven days later, still staying with the mystery woman, who for all intents and purposes… seems a bit loony, but definitely has the will to survive (she seems to only communicate in song.)  We find that she has a very close relationship with her horse, Radius, which is understandable as she lives in the middle of the wild all alone and appears to have lived like this for a very long time.  As Orchid decides that she can no longer stay with the crazy lady and Simon (whom she blames for everything), she finally talks!  We learn her name is Opal and she tells them her life story, which is both captivating and heartbreaking.  Opal, tells of her relationship with the great revolutionary General China, the man of the people. Or was he?

This issue like the previous two is phenomenal.  There are so many layered stories that are all fantastic and even though it should be confusing it’s done so well that it’s not.  The flashback storytelling of this series is amazing, Tom Morello really understands how to get to the heart of these characters and makes every story fantastic.  The writing is concise and so perfect that the only thing you are left wanting is more.  If you have not started reading these yet do yourself a favor and go get this one and the previous two immediately, you won’t be sorry!

Release Date: December 14th, 2011

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆