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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 134

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at issues #1-15 of Walter Simonson’s Orion series, a storyline we’ll call, for the lack of a better name, “The Rise and Fall of Red Orion”…

Enjoy!

What if I told you that there was a 15 part storyline that began with this…

had a major turning point with this…

saw things go so poorly that we saw scenes like this…

and the concluded with the following pairing up against Orion and a whole boatload of mind-controlled minions…

and the artwork and writing would be done by Walter Simonson. You would be into that, right?

As well you should be, as the first 15 issues of Simonson’s Orion sets up a brilliant look at what happens when Orion’s whole world is turned upside down and ends up succeeding where his father, Darkseid (IS he Orion’s father?), never could – but is success where Darkseid failed really something you would WANT?

I heard something once about absolute power – I hear that it might have some sort of corrupting effect. Orion would likely agree.

Only the first part of the story is in trade collections, but you should be able to pick up the individual issues without spending TOO much.

And it’s well worth the money spent – Simonson is at the top of his game (and this is not even mentioning the awesome BACK-UP stories in many of the issues, including work from Frank Miller, Howard Chaykin and Jim Lee!), and the two “fill-in” issues in the run are by John Byrne, so the quality is top notch all the way through!

9 Comments

Loved this whole series. Shame the rest is collected yet.

Yeah, I got all the single issues for extremely cheap. They’re not hard to find. One day I’ll get around to reading them …

One of my very favorite comics ever, the one book that kept me going through those dark ages; I may have given up on comics otherwise.

Marvelously plotted. We know Darkseid can’t really be killed off (that’s right, Final Crisis fans, he’ll be back), but Simonson ekes every piece of drama he can out of the action. The scene where Anti-Life Orion commands Darkseid to hold the gun to his head… Yeah.

I just recently got the entire series and was floored by what I read. I have no idea if Simonson only intended 25 issues or if he had to wrap things up when the cancellation notice came down–but you really can’t tell. The entire thing feels like it was plotted from the start and perfectly paced.

Plus I don’t think Walt’s art has ever been better.

I would love an Absolute edition of this. Possibly Simonson’s best work ever.

Wow, that looks great.

Quite simply one of the greatest superhero comics ever made, and the greatest use of the Fourth World characters DC ever did post-Kirby. There is so much to admire and love about this book, from the art to the rich writing to the backups(where Darkseid’s casual backhand of Tigra seemed to be one of the most chilling bits of evil the character has ever displayed) to the fact that issue-length throwdown between Darkseid & Orion is one of the all-time greatest fight scenes ever done in comics, but I just want to add one of my favourite issues of the series is the one dedicated to Michael Moorcok, where Simonson rather slyly turns Orion into an incarnation of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion, with the Anti-Life Equation as the equivalent of the Black Sword, without in anyway contradicting DC & Fourth World cosmology.

Damn, this series is a classic.

Totally phenomenal. It’s really a must read for anyone. I’m not a huge DC guy at all, and loved ever issue of this. Don’t forget about all the KILLER backups too!!!

Such a great series. It makes no sense to me that DC hasn’t collected this but put out a collection of the back-up features.

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