Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Orbiter

Look up at the sky, admire the stars and imagine what is out there.

NASA's manned space program is but a memory, Mankind has seen better days. Suddenly the lost spaceship Venture returns home after 10 years in outer space. Of the original crew only captain John Cost returned but something is not right.

How did the Venture survive for 10 years in outer space? Here did it travel to? Ho
A team of specialists is gathered to investigate the returning ship and get answers to how did the ship survive 10 years in space, where did it travel to and what happened to the crew.

How good is it?

Warren Ellis, the mind behind Orbiter, is a master of sci-fi comic books and this is not an exception.
Orbiter is a story of a group of people trying to make sense of a situation that seems to be impossible and unexplainable and has a very personal connection with every single one of them.

Ellis makes the story turn around a few earthbound persons that have different issues to resolve with the space exploration program, rather than the ship, the returning captain, aliens or any of the usual suspects. Anna Brakmen the psychiatrist that lives the space exploration experience by exploiting the astronauts that she should be helping. Michele Robeson the technician that never got the closure she needed when the shuttle program was shutdown. Terry Marx the propulsion engender that never had the chance to work on the original program.
The journey these people will make is very engaging, and as in any good story, you will be glued to the book until the very last chapter when the mystery is revealed. In the end Ellis was kind enough to write in someth

Have you ever watched the TV series Farscape? If so, this is story could very well be what would happen if Crichton ever return to earth speaking an alien language.

The art on the Orbiter is competent enough. While it won't make you fall in love with it, its easy on the eye and good enough to communicate emotions to the reader. Colleen Doran does a great job with panel backgrounds, the shadows in the interrogation room, the stars and asteroids in the space imagery and the details of the space-shuttle images are very good. Its something about the faces that makes his art come a little bit short of awesome.

Pay attention, this is rocket science.
Kennedy Space Center

Would I recommend it?

Warren Ellis writing usually generates polar reaction. You either love it or hate it. With that in mind, this is typical Ellis sci-fi book. If that excites you, then this is a must have. If you never read anything by Ellis this a good book to try. However if you're not a fan of his writing, then this is not the book tho change your opinion.
I for one like it a lot, its in the bottom of my top 10 Warren Ellis books.

Publisher: Vertigo
Year: 2004
Authors: Warren Ellis, Colleen Doran

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