Monday, March 24, 2008


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 160
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time II Challenge, extra for Graphic Novel Challenge

Black Orchid is a plant woman created by Doctor Phil Sylvian who fights crime in Gotham City. On the night she is killed one of the other plant women Sylvian is growing reaches maturity and wakes up not understanding who she is and what she is. She has the tangled memories of Susan Linden who Phil grew up with and was in love with. It is her DNA and RNA that makes up the plant women, but as she is no longer around Black Orchid is still no closer to knowing about herself and her origins.

As more and more people she is close to are killed, she goes on a journey which takes her to Arkham Asylum and Louisiana meeting comic book heros and villians in her quest. All the time is is running from Susan's ex-husband who has just been released from jail who is trying to kill her for Susan leaving him, as well as Lex Luthor who wants to own her and dissect her.

It is beautifully drawn and is possibly the best looking comic book I have ever read. This series of three comics dispels the comic book sterotypes and turns superhero battles upside down. It is so much more than others in it's genre, much more than a superhero comic and is more about a voyage of self discovery. Highly recommended to all comic, superhero and fantasy fans.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Wow..this sounds awesome! I have it on my list for the Graphic Novel challenge as well. I didn't know anything about it, I just own it. I know it's the first thing that McKean and Gaiman ever did together though, so I can see why they would've continued working together since it came out as beautiful as you described! Thanks for the great review. Really looking forward to it now!

Nymeth said...

I can't wait to read this! I never quite new what the story was about. It sounds fantastic!

Rhinoa said...

Chris - You will love it! I should have tried to put up some pictures of the pages, but it will be alovely surpise for you when you read it. I didn'#t realise it was there first collaboration, definitely the beginning of something great.

Nymeth - I know you will love it as well. It is simply stunning.

Shree said...

I'll have to look at this one, I've not been one for most super hero comics, but this sounds different.

Kim L said...

This sounds like a really interesting book! Sadly the library doesn't have it, maybe I will just have to look for it at the bookstore.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Oh. Wow. This is SO going on my wish list. Thanks for reviewing it!

Carl V. said...

I can't believe I don't own this, let alone the fact that I haven't even read it. I'm glad you liked it and hope it sparks more trials of graphic novels. There are some amazing ones out there.

Rachael said...

I've recently been drawn into graphic novels and can't wait to get my hands on Black Orchid. I love a work that flips stereotypes and lends a new perspective on storytelling. Thanks for the recommendation!