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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 180

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 look at Warren Ellis and Collenn Doran’s Orbiter…


Orbiter is a 2003 original graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran (with beautiful color art by Dave Stewart) set in the not-so-distant future about a world where manned space missions are a thing of the past, ever since a manned spaceship, Venture, disappeared ten years earlier.

Well, now, ten years after it disappeared, the Venture has reapppeared, only it’s seemingly made out of skin and of the seven members of the crew, only one remains.

The government puts together a team to examine the crew, the surviving member and the physics of it all. The main members of the crew are the last person to go into space BESIDES the Venture crew, a young hothead scientist and a psychologist whose job was to counsel astronauts upon their return (a job that has not really had a need for these past ten years).

As they examine the ship and the returning crew member, Ellis slowly reveals hints of what happened when the Venture disappeared.

It’s a brilliantly nuanced work filled with well-developed and interesting characters and spectacular art by Doran.

Here’s the introduction of the three team leaders…

and their military head…

Ellis can really write those hardass guys, can’t he?

Here’s a spotlight on one of the guys…

And here’s a brilliantly spooky sequence showing the survivor…

Damn, that’s effective, huh?

Here’s some pieces of the mystery…

Isn’t Doran’s art really impressive?

Go find this comic, folks!



Good Book. Ellis without the cynicism. He should try it more often!

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 2, 2010 at 6:40 am

One of the more memorable books by Ellis and Doran.

Beautifully illustrated and written.

What the heck Cronin?

I wait for this all day and you don’t post it until 11:45pm?

way to ruin my day! these things are supposed to be posted by like noon at the latest…

dang man…you’re slippin!

and ill have none of your..wahhh, i broke my arm, my house burned down, my hemorroids are acting up…

suck it up woman and get it done!

good recommendation tho…:-)

Orbiter a strong piece of hard-SF that doesn’t skimp on the emotional lives of the characters the way most hard-SF does.

One detail I thought was funny (and was reproduced in this post) was that Bracken is shown using what was an old version of MacOS even when the story was first published!

Orbiter might be my favorite Ellis work. And Colleen Doran is always fantastic.

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