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Orchid Volume 1 Paperback – Jul 24 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (July 24 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595829652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595829658
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 0.6 x 25.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #256,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 6 2012
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: On impulse actually. I've just re-read the publisher's summary and I think that last paragraph was missing from what I first read as "teenage" prostitute does not appeal to me at all. However, for some reason, this called to me.

I am so glad I read this, rather unusual for me, graphic novel. Very violent, quite graphic in s*xuality, language and plain brutal images. The publisher recommends age 14+. I'm age 40+ and was disturbed by some images; my recommended age is 18+. So I start with these caveats but let me tell you this was a fantastic story!

It did start off a bit shaky. The premise is somewhat unbelievable as to how this post-apocalyptic world came to be along with the mutant DNA animals. Also I'm a bit tired of assuming that future worlds will be medieval-like and women will revert back to being used, abused "property" of men. But. Suspending belief to a degree and getting comfortable within this world with the first couple of issues, by the third issue the story has picked up and proves to be an extremely detailed, intriguing, highly developed plot. There are many side stories along with the major plot taking shape within this first volume and I was completely hooked by the end and am anxious to read volume 2 which has been added to my pre-order titles.

The characters are fantastic especially Orchid and the main male character, Simon. Orchid (who I never thought of as "teenage" but had rather set her as 20-21 in my mind) starts off weak, and a bit whiny, but her character grows throughout this volume to become the hero she is going to be for the future of the series. Simon really shined for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Solid entertainment for those willing to suspend disbelief July 17 2012
By Alt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Oceans are rising, presumably the result of global warming. Somehow chemicals dumped into the sea cause genetic codes to be smashed, resulting in a new breed of monsters swimming to shore and eating people. The surviving humans are mostly enslaved by the elite, in the form of scientist-warlords. A dude named Simon steals a magic mask that empowers the saintly wearer (if donned by someone who isn't saintly, the wearer's head implodes). Simon befriends a prostitute named Orchid and meets a crazy old lady who lives in the Wild. Simon's goal is nothing less than revolution, class warfare that will pit the slaves against the masters, but his first step is to free Anzio, the rebel leader.

If you ignore the fact that the whole monster angle makes not the slightest bit of sense, the story has an appealing mythical quality. You also need to ignore the fact that cars and most mechanical devices haven't survived the devastation, but somehow "reflective bioheat panels" have been salvaged to illuminate tunnels and robots continue to operate factories. Assuming a powerful willingness to suspend disbelief, however, Orchid consistently entertains. The story is imaginative, the writing is a step or two above average, and the art is impressive. The coloring is especially noteworthy.

I would give this 4 1/2 stars, deducting a half star for the mutated monsters and a bit too much exposition in the opening pages, but since Amazon doesn't allow half stars, I'm rounding it back to 5 stars to reflect the originality of the story and the strength of the writing and art. I'm hooked and eager to see the next installment.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Over-the-top fantasy adventure with a not-so-happy beginning Sept. 4 2012
By Mother/Gamer/Writer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Me

Celebrated musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) has created a larger-than-life post-apocalyptic graphic novel about disaster, revolution, and hair-raising monsters. Orchid, Vol. 1 is a grandiose adventure of disturbingly epic proportions. It's not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those of you who don't want to be sucker punched by a reluctant hero, a feisty (prostitute) female lead, war torn nations, and creatures who'd love to have you as a snack. This is a dark and dreadful, weary place. And I invite Dystopian fans to step into the pages and submerge themselves in Orchid's frightening world.

Meet Simon, a book smart rebel who has come into possession of an artifact used by the infamous General China. He eludes capture, only to stumble upon a boy who he just barely rescues from certain death. The young boy takes Simon to his home where we meet his mother and eventually a prostitute with the word "property" tattooed across her chest, Orchid. Because of a certain "thing" Orchid has done, trouble follows her home and she, Simon and her brother are captured. And consequently, their mother is killed. Thus begins their hair-raising adventure of survival, loss, and retribution.

Overall, Orchid Volume 1 is great for anyone looking for over-the-top fantasy adventures with not-so-happy beginnings, a lot of death, and creatures that might make you think twice about entering dark forests. The artwork, ominous tone, and worldbuilding will capture your attention from page one and take you on an emotional journey that won't let up until the ride is over. Yeah's good!
Very Poor Writing Nov. 9 2015
By Shambalagala - Published on
Format: Paperback
The opening words are "When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed." Soo.. that sort of nonsense was a good indicator of what was to come. The author could have come up with a dozen believable reasons for having all kinds of strange new creatures. The rising sea smashing genetic codes? No.

It starts out indulgently violent and gross.. a leading character says that you can do fine if you're clever, then immediately does something really foolish, hides at home, and is shocked when she's found there. I was barely hanging on through the bad writing when I got to this particular scene: some folks are being sold as slaves. One guy gets an amazing idea when he sees a wire. He insults the slaveowner so that a guard will shove him towards the wire, which of course he does. Real quick, he REWIRES a machine he knows nothing about in the 2 seconds before the guard picks him back up. And his goal? So that when he's weighed, he weighs twice as much. Because.. that makes him seem strong and therefore desirable? His amazing plan works!

The positive thing I have to say is that the world being built is interesting and has potential, though it is revealed in narrative form, rather than being discovered or revealed organically through the story.
Very dark and not to my tastes, but not a total write-off Nov. 17 2015
By Zac Hanscom - Published on
Format: Paperback
Orchid, Vol. 1 is the first volume in a dystopian 12-issue run on Dark Horse comics, collecting issues #1 through #4. The world has been devastated by global warming, with Earth society devolving into fascism and neo-feudalism. Much of the Earth's surface is covered in water, and most of the land - the wild - is inhabited by terrible creatures. Orchid is a prostitute whose mother is murdered and who, along with her brother Yehzu and a stranger named Simon, is enslaved. The three of them must escape, but the stranger talks of a rescuing Anzio, as if their lives weren't in enough danger.

The covers by Massimo Carnevaleare a highlight, but the artwork and story simply didn't draw me in. There's a little too much non-linear storytelling. When non-linear is done well, it's very good, but when it's not done as well, it's not so good. One of the mysteries is the mask of General China, but even as the mystery of the mask deepens, I find myself disengaged with its story. There are some good moments in the book, and it's not a total write-off; I think some people would like it. **3/4
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disengaging writing but nice art Aug. 30 2012
By brickman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had really high hopes for this title, being a huge fan of dystopian/apocalyptic type stories like Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man, and DMZ. Not trying to be harsh but I was severely disappointed with Orchid.

Scott Hepburn's (Dark Horse's KOTOR) art is very fitting for the wild beasts and apocalyptic jungle scenery but the action sequences and conveyance of motion just feels flat and boring.
There is very little dialogue and what IS present is often times really disengaging and down right annoying (one character in particular). Overall, the characters are very bland and one note.

I feel like Morello wanted to include some intense and mature subject matter to give the world of Orchid a gritty and hopeless kind of feel, but some of it is just too forced.

It may just be that Morello needs to get rolling considering this is his first shot at writing comics but MAN, this needs a face lift.