Review: ORPHAN AGE #3 Shines A Light On The Victims

FIRST IMPRESSION

Anderson finally starts to investigate the uniqueness of Orphan Age in this issue and it makes for compelling, character driven reading. The artwork is intentionally claustrophobic producing an intimate storytelling experience.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Continuing the journey through the empty wastelands of America, Orphan Age from AfterShock Comics takes a sedated look at survival in a harsh world. It has more in common with the 1970’s Terry Nation T.V. series The Survivors than it does The Walking Dead but whatever it’s influences Orphan Age has a compelling story to tell.

ORPHAN AGE #3 Shines A Light On The Victims
Orphan Age #3 Credit: AfterShock Comics

Writing/Story

In this issue Princess must learn a number of lessons. In order to survive in the world, she must face the realisation that the utopian ideal she grew up with was a cover to protect her from the cruelties of nature. Not everyone was as lucky as her father when the Adults died 20 years previously.

Each issue of Orphan Age stands alone as a discussion around one aspect of Ted Anderson’s future world.  In this third issue, the concept of nature and nurture is examined as Princess comes face to face with an uneducated, uncivilised survivor of the mysterious incident that left the world in the shape it is.

- Advertisement -

Anderson uses the confrontation to illustrate Princess’ upbringing and compare it to the characters around her. It is also a catalyst for Daniel, Princess’ protector, to speak about his past and final allows the reader to see some of the transitional period between before the incident and the present of the comic.

Although the Feral character in this issue is nothing more than a plot device to question the current status que around the characters and the world, it is an effective one. A simple character that is neither hero or villain provides Anderson with an opportunity to compare the central cast. He is able to advance the world view while developing the characters via a simple, yet effective, narrative.

In plot sense not very much happens in this issue but as it is all about creating character driven drama, Anderson is successful in providing an emotionally gripping story.

ORPHAN AGE #3 Shines A Light On The Victims
Orphan Age #3 Credit: AfterShock Comics

Art

For this issue to succeed, Nuno Plati has to focus on the details and bring the characters to the foreground. So much of this comic is drawn from a medium or close up view point so that when there is a wide shot it really stands out. The relationships of the central three characters is reflected via the environment and their impact upon it. At times they blend into it, as if they are comfortable within the world they live. Other times they stand out, shocking grey figures against a garish orange backdrop, as far from the world as they can be while still being a part of it.

The ever changing conflict that they encounter as they travel across this America is visually more evident in this issue than it has been in previous issues. The color work by Plati and Joao Lemos really stands out and, in turn, makes the character’s conflicts stand out. The story may be sedate but the force of the art work is not. There are some powerful images and the extreme close ups with heavy black lines give the comic an emotional weight.

There is a claustrophobia to Orphan Age, despite the vast wilderness that it is set in. This is brought about by the tight points of view that Plati uses for his panels and is aided by Marshall Dillon lettering. His stark white speech balloons stand out against the naturalistic backgrounds and intentionally crowd the characters. This serves as a reinforcement of the character driven narrative but also makes the open, large vista panels that much more impactful. Not only is the reader able to see something of this world but it free from sound and speech; it becomes an all-encompassing space which in turn emphasises the closeness of the characters.

Dillon’s placement of the speech covers the backgrounds, removes any void and traps the characters together in an emotional and physical struggle for space.

ORPHAN AGE #3 Shines A Light On The Victims
Orphan Age #3 Credit: AfterShock Comics

Conclusion

Orphan Age is a comic about three characters and their emotional journey. That concept is more evident in this issue than in previous ones and the character work, both narratively and visually, is extremely engaging. Princess has an innocence which is slowly being eroded away and the tragedy of this can be seen in Plati’s panels of her. His framing and composition, although following a fairly ridged layout with grids and white gutters, is surprisingly emotional. He creates a huge empathy for Princess within the reader.

It has taken a few issues for Orphan Age to find its feet but this issue is definitely the best so far. Emotional and thought provoking. Plus, it is a great jumping on point for new readers.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Hickman’s X-MEN Relaunch: Six Titles Coming Out This Fall

With just days until HOUSE OF X #1 hits store shelves, Marvel announced six brand-new ongoing series with a suite of all-star creative teams...

Review: STAR WARS: AGE OF RESISTANCE: CAPTAIN PHASMA #1- A Galaxy Far Less Interesting

It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the character Captain Phasma. Not that she was dealt a particularly difficult lot in life, but the...

2019 Will Eisner Award Winners – The Complete List

The 2019 Will Eisner Awards were held last night at San Diego Comic-Con, and we have your complete list of winners below!

Review: Breathtaking Asian Myth Or SILVER SURFER BLACK #2?

Silver Surfer Black #2 might be one of the most beautiful books I've seen in quite some time. Tradd Moore's art is as creative...

Advance Review: MIDNIGHT SKY #1 Creates An Intriguing Mystery And A Frightening World

Scout Comics' Midnight Sky #1, by James Pruett, Scott Van Domelen and Ilaria Fella is the start of brand new science fiction series that...

Review: Immigrants From The Sea Arrive In Amnesty Bay In AQUAMAN #50

Arthur Curry has fought elemental beings, befriended gods and goddesses, and regained painful memories of his accidental death at the hands of Mera, all...

Review: The City of Bane Begins in BATMAN #75

At long last, we reach the third act of a story that’s three years in the making with Batman #75. Kicking off the City...

AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA: Thompson & Nadler Stick The Landing

The AGE OF X-MAN��is over, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson's mutant utopia comes crashing down. AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA wraps up this X-Men event.
Darryll Robson
Darryll Robsonhttp://www.comiccutdown.com
Comic book reader, reviewer and critic. Waiting patiently for the day they announce 'Doctor Who on The Planet of the Apes'.
COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!