Review – Orchid #11

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

After getting the crap kicked out of them, Orchid and Simon are a little worse for the wear. Luckily, Barrabas, who has now turned on Wolfe, has shown up and is kicking some genetically modified animal ass! Once some of the dust settles, Orchid sees that her ally Westin, has betrayed her and the movement. Things have not gone according to plan and Orchid is feeling defeated. Just when things are looking their worst Orchid finds unexpected help and regains some much-needed strength. The Shadow Rebels are beginning to take a dent out of Wolfe’s army, but Wolfe is determined to come out the victor, and unearths the big guns!

With all hell breaking loose and only one issue of Orchid left to go everything is in chaos and only one side will be able to emerge victorious. This issue of Orchid does an amazing job setting up the last issue for the Shadow Rebels last and undoubtedly biggest stand of their lives. Inspirational and maddening at the same time, Orchid is perfection. Tom Morello’s writing is awe-inspiring and the artwork of Scott Hepburn is breathtaking. Orchid has come together flawlessly and I have no doubt that the final issue will be the pièce de résistance!

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

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

Review – Orchid #10

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

The battle has begun and things are not looking so good for our band of Shadow Rebels. Enzio is overwhelmed and relying on Orchid to finish her mission of killing the heartless, disgusting Tomo Wolfe. Thanks to their explosive expert, Westin, Orchid and her army have penetrated Wolfe’s fortress and are on their way to destroy him. Wolfe, unaware of Orchid’s arrival has just learned that Barrabas has turned on him and is wreaking havoc in Fortress Penuel. His day quickly gets worse as Gletkin, Wolfe’s mindless drone of a right hand man tries to restore order but fails miserably when Wolfe gives the order to find Barrabas and kill him. Wolfe, as his world is unraveling, soon learns that they have a new secret weapon, a traitor to the Shadow rebels! What would a revolution be without a few hiccups? Still, nothing will stop Orchid and her crew and she may have a few tricks up her sleeve as well.

The Shadow Rebels fight has reached a fevered pitch with only a couple of issues of this amazing comic left to go. Everything is coming to a head, death on both sides, small triumphs, big losses. Who will come out on top? Like every past issue this one is excellent and exceeds expectations. The writing is poignant and the art is impeccable. The end of Orchid is bittersweet, I can’t wait for the conclusion but not having an issue to read every month is to put it simply, gonna suck! At least there are a couple of issues left and it’s going to be a helluva ride!

Release Date: October 17th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

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

Review – The Walking Dead #96 – A Larger World (Conclusion)

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Charlie Adlard
Inks: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Color / Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard
Editor: Sina Grace
Published by: Image Comics | Skybound

Rick and crew haven’t been having an easy time for a long while now, The Hilltop is proving to be no different in any of this. With Gregory the leader going down as a message from Negan we see Rick pulled into action yet again by reacting to save Gregory and in the process killing the man who assaulted the leader. In the middle of this new community he’s left to face judgement even if it was an act of self-defense, shocked and isolated the people see a villain in their midst.

Turbulent times kick off things right away, the shock of death is a heavy hit for all of the community. Instead of seeing Ethan as a threat he was part of their people and Rick for his actions plays the role of the murderer and villain to them. Weapons drawn and nervous tension surrounding him, Rick will not compromise to their will, instead he stands firm until Jesus comes between them all. It sets the tone for the rest of the issue, they’re the newcomers and now they’re also seen as a threat to their community even if what they did was justified in the moment.

The world of The Walking Dead is about to start into a new phase with this issue, everyone finds a little something to appreciate about The Hilltop and a strange sense sweeps over them. After so much stress and horror on the road and going from camp to camp there’s a strange calm or refreshing warmth that hits the group and it passes through from the pages to the reader in the middle of the chaos. Fortunately the TWD team isn’t this forgiving, this calm comes at a price, as they’re not the most capable farmers or the richest in supplies they have to bring their own way of contributing to the table and there really is only one true thing they do well in this world. Rick and his team have a mission, it will not happen overnight or even in a few days but it will be one that they can embrace and give it their all for.

Given how hard Rick and crew have had it through these last arc’s, it’s really something to see a remote shred of stability coming back to them, it could be a hard period for them with low supplies during a hard Winter for the group. The folks behind The Hilltop have made it a little easier and a little less stressful, what rests ahead is a choice on how they repay this kindness and a test of integration into the community, they need to be one but at what cost? The art is crisp and the pages deliver some critical shots, Carl resting on the roof of the car as lookout, Rick’s empty stare after killing Ethan. The pages push the atmosphere in each shot even without color to support or direct attention, they’ve been at it so long they’re able to deliver the emotion each time on call.

What rests ahead according to Kirkman is a new challenge to Rick, coping with life in such a large world once again. We know he has a battle coming but he also has a desire to make this place home as well, can he balance the need to fight and desire to try to settle up after all this?

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