Light Spoilers to Follow…
Dark Horse transport readers back into space with another two-part adventure featuring the voyages of the starship Orville. In The Orville #3 – Heroes Part 1 the inhabitants of a planet known only as HR 5070 have developed advanced technologies that should be far beyond their grasp. The Okudum should not possess the means to create a quantum reactor, yet after scans clearly show the presence of such a device, the crew of the Orville is sent to investigate.
Each of these Orville stories gives fans background information of certain members of the Orville’s crew. In Heroes, it’s Ensign Talla who’s history is expanded on. She’s an expert on the Okudum and the alien race holds a special place in her heart.
In my opinion, these Orville comics aren’t writer David A. Goodman’s best work. This is the second one I’ve read, and for the second time, I’ve gotten the sense he’s just missing the point of the show. I don’t feel that these Orville comics are a good adaptation of the FOX television show. Created by Seth Macfarlane, the TV show is meant to be part parody and part homage. The episodes are humorous while still maintaining the feel of a classic Star Trek story. I find these Orville comics to not only lack humor, but feel that they’re desperately in need of a joke or two. A lighter tone or more action would certainly improve things.
Without the humor or light-heartedness, these comics feel less like a homage and more like a low-quality rip off of both Star Trek and the Orville show. Goodman just doesn’t do enough to capture the voices of the actors when he writes their comic book counterparts’ dialogue. The dialogue of the characters in the comic reads very generically. The dialogue sounds like it could be spoken by anyone, instead of famous actors. Goodman’s scripts also lack the sophistication and emotional tension of a Star Trek episode. In The Orville #3, the character’s in this comic just sit around and talk. There’s no urgency, seemingly no real threat, and the character interactions seem more like co-workers who are forced to work together and not crewmates who must rely on one another to accomplish the mission. It’s not like Goodman doesn’t have source material to pull from between the Orville show and untold episodes of Star Trek. Instead, he comes up with these bland “space procedurals” where the first part is all set up for the second part, except without any excitement or plot twists that make the reader want to buy part 2 and finish the story.
David Cabeza’s illustrations contain a great amount of detail. He’s just as good at drawing an alien landscape as he is at rendering expressive faces. The small details he includes help distinguish different characters and species of alien from one another and give each one their own unique look. Colorist Michael Atiyeh adds depth to these details through shading and shadow. This adds an element of realism to the expressions and physical forms of the characters. I was also impressed by the accuracy of Cabeza’s drawings of the actors who play the Orville characters on the TV show. Seth MacFarlane’s character is especially well done.
Fans of classic Star Trek or the Orville TV show might find something to like about The Orville #3, but there’s not much in this comic to hook most readers. The story is boring, the plot predictable, and the dialogue flat. The artwork is of good quality but doesn’t offer many impressive visuals. Ninety percent of this comic is just people standing or sitting around talking. Goodman has a plethora of sources to pull inspiration from, yet he gives the reader a drama with no real tension. Hopefully one day, Seth Macfarlane can be convinced to consult and punch up the dialogue or story. Otherwise, I find little that would make someone want to buy any of these The Orville inspired comic books.
Story: David A. Goodman Art: David Cabeza
Colors: Michael Atiyeh Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Story: 1.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review