Outer Orbit #1 (Dark Horse)

ooheaderSick of futuristic stories that rip-off Blade Runner's dystopian world view? Then take a gander at this sexy, fun-filled, action-packed new miniseries.

 

 

32 pgs FC; $2.99

(W: Reed Bucholz, Zach Howard, Sean Murphy; A: Zach Howard and Sean Murphy; C: Charlie Kirchoff)

Just when it seems like every futuristic sci-fi story is going to be a slog through a desolate, barren dystopia where machines are our masters, a series like Outer Orbit comes along that says maybe, just maybe, the future might just be a rollercoaster ride packed with wacky aliens and outrageous gadgets. We can only hope.

 

The cover to Outer Orbit #1. Click on thumbnail for a larger image.Where Outer Orbit goes right is by focusing this first issue not on its futuristic world or even the plot but squarely on the characters. And what characters they are: the blue-skinned, dog-faced hero Quinn is a mile-a-minute-talking smart-ass pizza delivery boy who has somehow managed to team up with Krunk, a green-skinned cop with a Neanderthal build and a short fuse. But, as Quinn tells us, "This, like any story worth telling, is all about a girl." The girl in this case is Neoki, a gorgeous babe with pink braids and little clothing who ends up on the run from some very bad men trying to take back an idol she stole from them. Quinn ends up delivering her some pizza and gets a much better tip than he bargained for, scoring not only some good love but the idol as well.

 

Where the story is going exactly is hard to say. The creative trio behind Outer Orbit has structured their story out of order, introducing us to an already-paired up Quinn and Krunk shortly before they enter a high-stakes poker game, wherein Quinn recounts the very beginnings of the Neoki story over the game's first hand. It's an effective strategy; the comedy of the book's opening scene sucks you in, but it's the introduction of Neoki in a stunning, nearly silent action sequence of Aeon Flux-ian destructive grandeur that really seals the deal.

 

The art is Outer Orbit's biggest selling point as it is, quite simply, magnificent. Quinn and Krunk are angular and exaggerated but stay just on the safe side of cartoony, yet Neoki is drawn with smooth lines and a sex kitten's style. The pacing and layouts handle the comedic elements well, hitting much the same tone as Tony Moore's work on the over-the-top Battle Pope, and the characters have a bit of Moore's look with a dash of Tomm Coker's quirkiness mixed in for good measure. Though the art chores are split up, Zach Howard and Sean Murphy mix and match wonderfully, and by inking over each other's pencils the book maintains a consistently sharp look.

 

Some of the humor can fall a little flat, like Quinn's pizza delivery shtick or Krunk's bad experience at a coffee shop in the book's initial scene. Still, the comedy hits far more than it misses, and the equal mix of comedy and action will keep fans looking for either consistently entertained. Think of Outer Orbit as Futurama's jet-fueled, sexed-up little brother.

 

Enjoy a special 4-page preview of Outer Orbit #1 courtesy of DarkHorse.com! Click on the thumbnails below for a larger image.

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