Orphans – Season one (1-12)
Orphans / Orfani
Roberto Recchioni (author), Various (artists), Various (color)
Release date(s): October 16th, 2013 – September 16th, 2014 by SBE, April 23rd 2014 – August 9th 2016 by Darkwood (reviewed) – available @ http://www.darkwood.co.rs/
format (12 issues, 96 pages, SC (also available in HC), color, Serbian), 690 RDS (approx. 6 EUR)/per issue
Synopsis: The past – a mysterious alien force has transformed half the land in a smoking crater. Under the guidance of Dr. Juric and General Nakamura, a childen’s team is subjected to a strenuous workout, intended to transform them into the most hardened army of history. The present – a spaceship lands on the planet from which came the attack, with instructions to find and eliminate the destructive weapon.
Finally Darkwood finished the first season of Orphans, and I finally managed to sit down and read in as a whole. A lot of hype was around Orphans, live action trailers, a lot of money was invested into the development of this edition (approx 1.3 mil EUR), full color edition (pretty unusual for SBE), so my expectations were pretty high for this.
Imagine Starship Troopers meets Ender’s game meets Halo meets Lord of the flies and a bunch of other Sci Fi movies/books/games. That is basically the opening of Orphans. Earth is hit by an unknown attack which brings the mankind onto the brink of extinction. We follow a group of orphans, which are taken into a special training in order to be prepared for the First alien war. Over these twelve issues, the story is divided into two parts, one follows the rigorous training conducted by general Nakamura and prof Juric, and the second follows the alien war. The team consists of five super-soldiers: Jonas (Boyscout – team leader), Ringo (Gunman – gun specialist), Juno (Angel – heavy artillery specialist), Sam (Brat – infiltration specialist) and Raul (Hermit – sniper specialist). The story goes back and forth, providing new information regarding the story and filling up the gaps just nicely to keep you on your seats. It is quite interesting that every issue left a cliffhanger ending, so you grab another one, and then another one, just until you finish it.
Story development is pretty solid, and makes the reader eager to read the next issues in order to find out the development. Raises the question of validity of war, government manipulation, mankind unity. It is pretty interesting to view human psychology on how nations are united against the common enemy or made-up war reasons looking through the recent history (but I don’t want to go there now, this is a comic review). Looking as this is a first full-color Bonelli edition, this could be viewed as a so call Bonelli response to american comics, leaving the traditional black and white approach, and spreading the story over twelve issues. The art and color at moments looks pretty spectacular, while on some pretty mediocre.
Pros: great Sci Fi story, solid development, cliffhangers, full color Bonelli
Cons: drawing varies too much
Conclusion: A lot of money, promotion and time were invested in this, and definitely paid of. Great story, interesting to see a Bonelli story in full color. Worth the money and time.