Dark Horse Comics
(W) Ryan Ferrier (A) Alejandro Aragon (C) Chris O’Halloran (L) Ryan Ferrier (Created By) Alejandro Aragon, Ryan Ferrier
Stories set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland are a dime a dozen in media. With notables like Fallout, Mad Max, and Tank Girl to name a few, a new epic needs a twist on the old formula, that’s where Death Orb #1 stands out. With its quick, effective world building and yet very personal storytelling, Ryan Ferrier and Alejandro Aragon’s first issue may be a classic in the making. From here on out there may be brief spoilers, so beware.
Death Orb #1 begins with an ax-wielding, motorcycle riding protagonist, Rider, in the aftermath of a bloody fight in a bar. Ryan Ferrier keeps Rider’s dialogue short in the first few pages. Hinting at him searching for something makes the reader want to know the lengths Rider has gone, and what this “something” is. What follows is a quick but plot heavy conversation with his newly found headless friend that expands on the world just enough to make you feel a longing to explore the world more. The pace is fast with no pages wasted, giving us a quick two page showing and explanation of The Lords, Father, and his Cult, the antagonists of the story. Through the dialogue in the rest of the issue we learn just how dedicated and straight forward Rider is in his mission to find his pregnant wife, anytime he speaks it feels necessary and not just fluff dialogue to fill up the pages.
Alejandro Aragon’s art feels at home in these panels, the backgrounds feel very alive even when it’s just a sand wasteland. The Dark Horse website compares it to manga-style fights, which I will agree with but would add high-octane to that description. The fights aren’t the only pieces of art that stands out, the few times we have calm narrative moments the character design and the cities surrounding them shine equally as bright. Adding to the art is colors by Chris O’Halloran that help point out every minor detail, giving another layer to each panel, helping the look and feel of the city. The art and color combination gives a sense of a living and breathing city just waiting to be explored in upcoming issues.
Final Thought: I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Post Apocalypse/Wasteland stories but this mini-series might just change that opinion, in just 32 pages we learned a lot of the world Rider inhibits and about his personal mission. All the info we acquired gives a feeling of a large unique world waiting to be explored thoroughly. Ending on a big cliffhanger this is one journey I am looking forward to.
Memorable Quote: “I’m going to use the handle of my ax, Sugar, to f***-start your brain back into working order.” -Rider.
“You can tell he means business.” -Me
Death Orb #1 releases on 10/3/18.