Monday, December 28, 2009

"Black Orchid" by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (4/5 stars)

One of the few Gaiman/McKean works that I haven't read; I was eager to read this graphic novel. It was a pretty good read. It is an unusual comic book and deals with some more serious issues than the basic good vs. evil.

This comic takes place in Gotham City and in the first few scenes we get to watch as the super-hero Black Orchid is captured and killed. The rest of the story follows her flower sisters as they deal with the fall-out from Black Orchid's action and try to find a place for themselves in the world.

It is an interesting story in that the main character for the most part is a passive flower-lady that is trying to gain back her memories and figure out how to protect her flower sisters.

There are cameo appearances by Batman, Poison Ivy, Lex Luther, and others. We get to visit Arkham Asylum and spend time with the dirty underground of Gotham.

The majority of the comic deals with the idea of violence and what happens when you make a choice either to be peaceful or take violent action. It also shows that sometimes making the right choice doesn't always mean things will turn out the right way.

An interesting graphic novel and somewhat thought provoking. I can see why they said this graphic novel helped break the way for more non-traditional graphic novels. The artwork by McKean is the usual mixture of beautiful, creepy, and slightly goes very well with the story.

There are only a couple things that weren't ideal. One was that the character's aren't as engaging as I am used to for Gaiman and (since this was released in the 80's) the other is that the graphics are pretty dated...there are a lot of 80's hairstyles walking through this graphic novel and at times that made me laugh.

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