This week I was able to preview the full first issue of the new comic from Dark Horse Orchid.
I can safely use my new favorite phrase to describe this comic because it’s recommended for 18+ audiences– Orchid is an Amazeballs Apocalyizgasm.
The preview on the Dark Horse site is mildly misleading. It starts of very slowly with a lot of backstory and foreshadowing. No characters for the first four pages even. We learn that this world is set far in the future of our world, which has been ravaged by flooding, wide-spread animal mutations, and the general demise of human society.
At first I was a bit skeptical, thinking I’d be reading a storybook with a James Earl Jones-esque narrator telling me about how things were once and how sad they’ve become and that, maybe one day, there’ll be a hero fight against the corrupt power and rage against the machine[1. Pun totally intended. ORCHID is the creation of Rage Against The Machine’s former guitarist, Tom Morello].
Then exciting things started happening. There was suddenly a band of rebels I found myself cheering for and a cause I vaguely understood and wholly supported.
I thought I was on the lookout for The Hero of Lore[2. Not the hero’s name, just what I’ll call him.] until I met Simon, a quirky nerd who takes every opportunity to talk too much in a surprisingly heartwarming way. After spending most of his life being bounced from one group to another, he’s always somewhat out of place in this world to everyone but himself.
A few pages on we meet our title character, Orchid. Oh and what a character she is. Hardened by life as a whore and sharp as a tack. She’s brash, unsympathetic, and violent.
The paring of Simon and Orchid is definitely an interesting one to look forward to. He seems to be the brains to come up with plans and schemes while not being clever enough to stay out of trouble; she seems to be street smart but not smart enough to keep her head down and her nose clean.
So much conflict and motive has already been promised that I can’t even guess where issue #2 will take our very angry whore and her nerdy companion.
From the mind of musician Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman) with art by Scott Hepburn (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), Orchid is the tale of a teenage prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her.
When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. 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 that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Welcome to the world of Orchid.
* Featuring a variant cover by the best known and influential street artist Shepard Fairey!
Each issue to feature new music by Tom Morello! Find out more at www.NightWatchmanmusic.com
While you might not be sucked in from the six-page preview on the Dark Horse website, I think it’s the best dollar you can spend on entertainment. Even better than Silly Putty.
Orchid will be on shelves on October 12th. Or you can head over to Dark Horse Digital and read it without leaving your computer (or iOS device)[3. I really like the Dark Horse Digital app for my iPod, though it’s a bit slow for me. It might be my connection or not, I’m not a scientist. But, the mechanics of panel-to-panel switching are smooth and sexy and easy to get acquainted with].