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ORPHAN BLACK #1 Review

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Fan favorite Orphan Black has is attempting to make the leap from the screen to page this week with the launch of issue #1. Too bad they didn’t give readers something new to chew on.

The official description from IDW:

Sarah’s life was changed dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looked just like her. Sarah learned that, not only were she and the woman clones, but there were others just like them, and dangerous factions at work set on capturing them all. Now, the mysterious world of Orphan Black widens, with new layers of the conspiracy being peeled back in this miniseries by co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson!

OB01-cvrRI-bfc1cThere are a few television series that have made the leap to comics in ways that work well, and it’s usually because the creators go in understanding that the medium is different and so are the reader’s expectations. Take a look at the newest X-Files: Season 10 from IDW, as an example — it ain’t too shabby because it actually expands the universe instead of retreading it. So far, the creators of Orphan Black have yet to get this memo. Yes, the premise for this hit series is delicious and perfectly weird, but with issue #1 all we get is, essentially, a re-hashing of the pilot episode that launched this ship several years ago. Sarah witnesses a suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her and, in an attempt to launch a long con, stumbles into a strange universe of clones and murder. Of course there are some new wrinkles, and longtime fans of the show will get a kick out of seeing how the series gets morphed onto the page, but there is relatively little new here. That said, and to be fair, the true measure of this new series will come with issue #2 at which point writers John Fawcett, Graeme Manson & Jody Houser will get a chance to show what it is they’re really trying to accomplish. The final page of this inaugural issues promises something a little different from the series and in order for this comic to survive, they’ll need to deliver on that promise.

The art, by Szymon Kudranski, is dark and brooding and delightful. His images are a strange combination of photo-realism and dreamy fantasy, Kudranski captures the true grittiness of Orphan Black but also creates panels that look almost pretty. It’s a great combination.

Issue #1 of Orphan Black offers little new to fans of the show, although it does offer a foundation to comic-only readers who might be discovering this premise for the first time. Whatever happens next will be the thing that determines if this series is worth hanging around for.

OUR RATING
7
  • + Great Art
  • + Of course, great premise
  • - Re-tread of the pilot
  • - So far, not nothing new

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