The new comic series spinning out of the smash BBC hit show Orphan Black has some big shoes to fill. Graeme Manson and John Fawcett co-creators of the show are working with comic author Jody Houser on the new comic series. They have stated that the book will not just rehash but expand on the show’s narrative. This is without a doubt the only way to make comics based on shows worthwhile for pre-existing fans. First issues of new series based on an existing property unfortunately have to balance introducing new fans to the main plot while entertaining their returning customers. The authors of this book appear to be very aware of their precarious situation.
Orphan Black #1 will feel somewhat choppy for readers who have not watched the TV show while being an easy read for those that have. This can be chalked up to the creator’s desire to rush through the back story already seen in the show. The writers do add new perspectives to the story with internal thoughts not expressed in the show. This is a welcome addition that proves the writing teams abilities while highlighting a strong understanding the medium of comics.
Szymon Kudranski is clearly a master of depicting facial expressions. The art blends a sleek and smooth style with the darker tone of the series. Attention to fine details in characters will be paramount to the success of the series as it focuses on so many nearly identical people. Kudranski appears to be more than up to the task of individualizing every single character.
Though this issue does seem repetitive and somewhat choppy it accomplishes all it sets out to do. With the awesome and detailed art the world of Orphan Black is successfully brought to the page. This first issue provides a solid base for the rest of the story to build and expand upon. Upcoming issues are sure to be great and entertaining fun for new and old fans alike!
Written by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett with Jody Houser
Art by Szymon Kudranski
Colors by Mat Lopes
Letters by Neil Uyetake