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.
So it’s probably not a big secret that post-apocalyptic stories flip my switch. Same with comics. So you’re probably wondering how I made it this long without knowing about “Orchid”. And really, I wish I had some kind of an answer for you… since now I’m going to have to scurry about tracking down all single issues. Which is just a hassle.
“Orchid,” written by Tom Morello (yes that Tom Morello) and brought to life on the page by Dan Jackson and Scott Hepburn is the story of a future gone tragically wrong. The world flooded, DNA went wonky creating terrible monsters, and humans are fighting to survive. As always in a setting such as this, the strong and the rich prey upon the weak and the poor.
Enter Simon (yes, I know you were expecting “Enter Orchid,” but we’re not there yet.)
Simon is a former slave who is one of the rare few who has fancy book learning. The story starts with him being part of a merry band of rebels who has stolen a rare artifact used by the cultural icon General China during his failed rebellion. He’s the only one who makes it out. On an attempt to flee the city, he saves a little boy from becoming monster chow. This little boy happens to have a big sister.
Enter Orchid. (see, I told you it was coming) Hooker with a heart of… well I’m pretty sure she has a heart anyways. With the word “property” tattooed on her chest and “know your role” branded into her arm, you can tell the life of a prostitute (or “Walk”) is even less glamorous in this unappealing future than it is today.
Together, the three embark on what is a “great for us, shitty for them” adventure.
In addition to the character introductions and the beginning of their epic journey, there’s a lot of background contained in this first volume. Introduced in snippets throughout the story, it gives you a look at how the world got into this mess, and what this mess really is, without detracting from the flow of the story. Normally I’m not a fan of these kinds of interruptions, but “Orchid” does it so well, I find it to be a positive instead of a negative.
Simply put, Orchid was stunning. I can’t wait for more.
(there was a preamble, but it got to the point where it deserved it’s own post. Check it out here.)
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