Cassie’s Dark Horse Comics Review: ORCHID #7
Published: May 26, 2012 - 8:14am
Simon, Orchid, Westin, and Anzio continue the story line from the last issue by trying to find Opal, who risked her life to save them from the half animal half machine hybrid Sire Varesh. Opal however, is busy fighting her way to take down the ruler of Fortress Penuel, Tomo Wolfe and destroy the widening class gap for the disenfranchised bridge people.
One thing that separates Orchid from other series out there are the issues Tom Morello brings up throughout the narrative. We’ve explored class distinctions and pollution before, but this issue is really devoted to women and the struggle of females to gain equality among their male counterparts.
It’s a nice change of pace to see a male writer take up the flag of women’s rights, something Morello has done time and time again with this series. In most cases, these issues come up through Orchid, most blatantly in her role as a prostitute who literally has the word “property” tattooed on her chest and the phrase, “Know your role” scarred into her arm. This issue however, we get to view women’s suffrage through Opal.
Opal has a very Éowyn feel about her as she slices her way through countless soldiers and creatures to kill despot Tomo Wolfe. Due to her mask, no one is aware that she is a woman, a fact which Morello uses to explore the gender roles and the expectations of women in this new world. Unlike the old world the apocalypse left behind in which women were slowly gaining ground and cracking the glass ceiling, post apocalypse roles have reverted. Women are once again subservient figures, losing all forward momentum in their freedoms when the world literally went to hell. Hopefully, through the message of Opal, Orchid will learn to break out of this mold and become more than just an object.
We also get a much more up close look at the powers of General China’s mask through Opal. The mask itself seems to imbue her with the power to do the unthinkable, including lifting heavy statues, throwing people across the room, and having an innate ability to fight the Sire Varesh. In using the mask, Opal is able to break down a lot of the walls (literally and figuratively) about the conceived perceptions of women.
Like most issues of Orchid, there is a wide swathe of the comic devoted to action scenes, this time being no different. Since the plot is centered around these fight scenes, the images we get from Scott Hepburn are a lot more bloody and visceral. Death, action, blood. Tomo Wolfe does something particularly unforgivable in this issue that will have you squirming in your seats. Or wherever you read your comics. Hepburn really knows how to make a reader feel something. The next issue is going to be a game changer.
Story: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
On Sale May 23, 2012!