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The second issue in the “Orchid” series came out last week on November 9, and it is already gaining interest. Set in a dystopian future, “Orchid” follows the life of a prostitute and her little brother as they struggle to survive. In the first comic she meets up with Simon, who has been involved in a group trying to fight those oppressing their human slaves that they use for manual labor.
Similar to the first issue, “Orchid” #2 starts off by giving some more details into the history of this universe and how things got to where they are. The details are gruesome and compelling, adding some depth to the story. By juxtaposing the present with the past, it helps the reader to slowly gain more insight into the motivations of the characters, and adds to the storyline.
The idea behind the story is one that has been told before, but the author, Tom Morello, has added some interesting elements, such as the fantastic creatures and the sometimes unexpected interactions between the characters. All of the animals have become behemoth mutant creatures, pushing the humans to the bottom of the food chain.
In addition to Morello’s work with the “Orchid” comic, he has been the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, and after leaving the band, also played in Audioslave and Street Sweeper Social Club as well as having a solo career as The Nightwatchman. Morello is a strong supporter of the Occupy movement, and his views on the oppression of the underclass are made quite clear in “Orchid.”
He feels very strongly about protesting against the oppression of the underclass, and has even begun travelling around to various cities to sing at the different Occupy demonstrations to help bring awareness to the movement and solidarity to those who are protesting.
Music is a large part of his life, and he has managed to bring that passion to his “Orchid” comic as well. He has provided theme music for each of the first two issues, and this innovative idea adds a nice unexpected element to the story. While it is not clear exactly how the audio is supposed to accompany the comic itself, the tone of the music does seem to reflect the tone of the story.
In the music for the second issue of “Orchid,” the track titled “The Deluge” starts off softly with the sound of waves gently lapping up against the shore. Then as the track continues, a single guitar begins playing, followed by a full orchestra. The music is morose and poignant, and it creates just the right mood for the story.
Because it is only four minutes and sixteen seconds long, it is not really possible to read the entire issue before getting to the last page. The track seems to be a musical rendition of this part of “Orchid” and even though it may not be understood by everyone, it is certainly a nice addition to the story.
Scott Hepburn is the main artist for “Orchid” and he does very detailed drawings. One of the visual appeals to this series is all of the strange creatures, such as the six-legged bear with a scorpion tail that is featured on the cover. Hepburn first worked on several Star Wars comics, but he has been very excited to work on this project with Morello and to draw numerous fantastic creatures, according to an interview with comicbooked.com.
The second issue of “Orchid” delves deeper into the story, ending with a compelling mystery that is sure to leave readers waiting anxiously for the next issue to come out. While “Orchid” is not groundbreaking as far as the theme of the story goes, it is an enjoyable read, and is very visually appealing.
The addition of the musical soundtrack for each issue adds a certain depth that would otherwise be missing. “Orchid” is a good story that compels the reader to consider wealth and class, not only in the context of the comic, but in our society as well.