Review - Death Orb #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"It's not worth it. Trust."

When the time comes to survive in an Earth that's a shell of its former self a lot of things have to be considered. Foremost among them is how far one will go to protect their family. In Death Orb #1 from Dark Horse Comics, one man will go to great lengths. The issue is written by Ryan Ferrier, illustrated by Alejandro Aragon, colored by Chris O' Halloran and lettered by Ferrier.

Rider, an ax-wielding wasteland survivor, carves a bloody path across a war-torn North America ruled over by the Lords, the mysterious Father, and their cult followers as he searches for his abducted wife and child. Information from one of Father's hired mercenaries could lead Rider to his family--if the Lords don t take him out first.

There's no doubt that Ferrier's script is tight and focused, providing a parallel to the devotion Rider commits to finding his family. The narrative flows beautifully and there's a very rhythmic pace to it that keeps things moving and gets Rider where he needs to be. Still, the setting itself feels a little bland--mainly owing to the fact that it's another story set in a post-apocalyptic world where things are being run by a tyrant. Rider is a very strong character and Ferrier infuses him with the requisite amount of grit, wit and physical prowess to be a believable main character searching for his family. And the issue ends with a eyebrow raising cliffhanger, but it's likely that Ferrier isn't letting things change that dramatically.

Aragon's artwork is a subtle shade of gritty. His linework feels jagged and sharp, portraying the environment as a wasteland that unceremoniously chews up lives and spits them out with no regard for the consequences. This is further embellished by Aragon's scratchy approach as he relies on plenty of jagged strokes and harsh lines to evoke a sense of grime and grit. Aragon still manages to fill in the details of the scorched Earth with an attention to the backgrounds; there's a pervasive sense of a polluted lifestyle that carries through the issue. Halloran's coloring is spot-on for engendering a dangerous tone as well.

Death Orb #1 is another entry in a seemingly endless cadre of Mad Max style stories. Rider is a very strong character committed to reuniting with his family; even if it means going after the Father himself. Ferrier's script is tight and methodic, providing a very solid foundation for the series to expound upon. Aragon's artwork is a great fit tonally for the story as it underscores the dire situation Rider faces on his quest. Death Orb #1 isn't exactly a new take on an old genre, but it's bolstered by a tight script and great art.

Death Orb #1 is available October 3.