Title: Death Orb.
Writer(s): Ryan Ferrier.
Illustrator(s): Alejandro Aragon.
Colourist(s): Chris O’Halloran.
Letterer(s): Ryan Ferrier.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics.
Release Date: June 4th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
How far would you go for the people you care about? When society is rid of social contracts that allow the ease of mind with guaranteed protection, it’s when every man is for himself, with each of their self-interest taking control of the steering wheel. The presence of inhuman beings, dangerous technology, and mystical shenanigans will probably not help your case either. I guess it’s safe to say that no one wants to live in a dystopia. Artist Alejandro Aragón (28 Days Later, Robocop) and writer Ryan Ferrier (D4VE, TMNT: Dimension X, Kong On The Planet of The Apes) thus team up to deliver a violent and colourful tale filled with lunatics and strange science.
What is Death Orb about? Set within an American wasteland where mutant biker gangs and death cults riddle the deserted planes, the story follows an ax-wielding warrior and his desperate search and rescue mission for his abducted wife. Plagued with figures who look to establish their vision of the world, the hero of this story is forced to confront these deadly foes and join allies in an ongoing revolution if he is to find the only thing that matters to him: his family. Collecting issues #1-5, this new series marks the beginning of an adventure into great depths, all in the name of love, while the end of the world lingers at the back of everyone’s mind.
Sold as a blend of Akira and Mad Max: Fury Road, there’s no denying that the similarities are there but the quality cannot be matched. What Death Orb attempts to accomplish is to draw upon core ideas of both of those series in order to create its own terrain. While the post-apocalyptic environment and the impending end of the world concept are quintessential to the storyline, they do not have the same execution or finesse. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t change the game and is stuck rolling on itself as it tries to establish its own identity. The nod to its influences are honorable but the final product doesn’t yet stand on two feet.
To complement the storyline, the artwork works wonderfully with the bloody and gore-filled narrative. With a relatively-rough and gritty visual style, as well as a colour palette perfectly-adapted to the post-apocalyptical scenario thanks to sunset shades and flashy techno colours, there’s still something to appreciate in the artistic department, despite the flaws of its narrative. The watercolour-like style also elevates the experience with a level of detailing sufficiently adequate to visualize the universe and its countless opportunities. Unfortunately, the artwork still feels incomplete, and the problems in storytelling invite the readers to further scrutinize the art.
Death Orb is a promising tale of determination, vengeance, and violence within a terrifying post-apocalyptic world with great creative potential for the team behind this series.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!