variant cover by Shepard Fairey

Writing: Tom Morello

Art: Scott Hepburn

Cover Art: Massimo Carnevale

Review by Melissa Megan

Orchid comes to a close this week after 12 issues of great art and an inspirational story of rebellion and loyalty.

This series began back in October of 2011 with an introduction to a new world ravaged by flooding and chemical waste. The people who managed to survive fall in to two classes: rich and powerful or poor and oppressed. The folks on top literally claim the highest points of land, comfortably out of reach of the ‘wild’, where genetically mutated creatures ferociously rule. ‘When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed.’ General China lit the fire of rebellion for the “bridge people” and although he ultimately failed to free them from oppression, he succeeded in planting doubt in the mind of one ruthless ruler.

Orchid is a teenage prostitute who finds herself thrown in to the path of one of General China’s last rebel followers and is begrudgingly swept up in a rescue mission that will mean heartbreaking loss and soul shaking transformations for her. The path to sainthood and freedom is a bloody one, full of terrifying places, mysterious allies and power hungry enemies.

Written by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Orchid is a grand adventure that has a tender heart and well meaning intentions but a no-holds-barred approach to the grim reality of life in an oppressed society. It touches the question of our place in the world as humans once we are forced to answer for the careless abuse of the planet we inhabit and the creatures we share it with. It presents a vision of a world in which nothing is left to fight over except survival. Orchid is not a light read but it is fun and it’s just intellectually challenging enough to grab a more discerning comic book reader.

The art of Orchid is colorful and lush, each issue graced with a really impressive cover by Massimo Carnevale. Orchid has a flaw here and there, it stutters a bit, but the package of stimulating, smart story and well developed artwork make up for it by far. I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning and wish it had gotten more positive talk time than it has. Sad to see it come to an end, but really looking forward to collecting all three trades on my shelf.

Verdict: Buy it. It’s adventure, politics, passion and battle casserole, baked to a crispy golden brown. It’s tasty.

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About The Author


Melissa likes to play games, read books, cut hair, eat cookies, cuddle and play with goats. She really, really likes goats. She watches lots of movies and especially loves the scary ones. Her time is largely spent maintaining multiple social media outlets both for her salon and for her own personal, vain reasons. She’s been known to be sarcastic and sometimes to not make any sense at all, but people seem to be ok with that.

5 Responses

  1. Travis McCollum

    I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed this series. I picked up the first two trades not that long ago and fell in love with the book. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the third and final trade. Glad to hear it maintained quality till the very end.

    Great review Melissa

    • James

      is it 4 issues per trade? They are on my list of series to purchase which is mostly dominated by image indie series’s.

      • Travis McCollum

        Yes. It’s 4 issues per volume and there are three volumes. The first two are available now and the third one will be available this summer

  2. Melissa Megan

    Thanks, Travis! Although I don’t think it was perfect, I really appreciate this series for both originality and heart. Plus I love genetically spliced creatures. :)

    • Travis McCollum

      Who doesn’t love genetically spliced creatures?
      I agree it’s not perfect, but the originality and heart, like you said, outweighed a lot of the flaws for me and I look forward to seeing what Tom Morello puts out next.

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