Overview

Orion the Hunter #1

Review

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Orion the Hunter #1

Credits

  • Words: Scott David
  • Art: Alex Sunder
  • Inks: Alex Sunder
  • Colors: Patrick Lo
  • Story Title: Sailing to Byzantium
  • Publisher: Alias Enterprises/Blue Water Productions
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Apr 26, 2006

Blue Water Productions have a range of books featuring Greek gods and other mythological characters as superheroes, with the myth as spandex-clad avenger treatment being given to Atlas, The 10th Muse and Isis of Egyptian fame.

Their latest deity to turn hero is Orion the Hunter. Readers unfamiliar with the pantheon of Greek gods needn’t worry though, as this book is firmly set in the superhero mould.

In this introductory issue, we meet Orion who seems to have fallen out of favour with the powers that be in Olympus – he is a god questioning his worth, a mood only reinforced by the appearance of his brash colleague Hermes, god of athletics and weights, among other things. The "jock" element of Hermes’ character is really played up in this book, and it makes an interesting foil for the far more dour Orion. Hermes also ends up being a lot of fun.

While he is meant to play the comedic role, Hermes has a serious part to play in the book. He has turned up to recruit Orion for a mission to restore the powers of the Oracle of Delphi, leading this issue to be a type of quest story, which I always enjoy.

Of course, we need a few twists and there is nothing like the rivalry between gods to throw a few curves into a tale. Scott Davis introduces us to Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld and Phobos and Deimos, the gods of terror and dread. Persephone and her lackeys are also seeking the Oracle and her mysterious Eye, setting us up for a conflict with Orion and Hermes.

Davis’ story keeps up with the ancient gods in the modern world theme as the Oracle turns out to be a dying old woman trapped in a hospital bed where she spends her time wasting away and mouthing words of prophecy. Her words are coherent enough to send Orion and Hermes to Rio’s Carnivale, also known as the Mouth of Hell, where Hermes gets to indulge his hedonistic ways and Orion comes face-to-face with a new challenge in a cliff-hangar ending.

This is a great first issue that goes a long way to setting up a truly interesting universe and collection of characters. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Orion. I was expecting to read about an all powerful god/hero, and instead I got a guy who is jaded and disillusioned, yet still bound by duty. The character development in this book, especially for the two main protagonists Orion and Hermes, is excellent. The villains could do with a little fleshing out, but I am sure this will come through in later issues.

Another big plus for this book is Alex Sunder’s art. He crams the pages with detail and has a great eye for design, especially with the title character. One point I would make about Orion’s costume though, and perhaps I am just being picky, is that his mask seems to be very bulky in such a way that would severely restrict his peripheral vision – something that can’t be good for a hunter!

The fact that Alex penciled the book, and then inked it, means that he literally drew this issue twice. That is a great sign of dedication. Sadly, I have heard that he is not continuing as artist of the book, which is a shame.

As this issue really is a set up for the excitement to come, there is no significant action in the book, which is a minor let down in a superhero title. However, Davis’ script is packed with character and the story still moves at an exciting pace as everything builds towards coming conflict in later issues.

I have to say that Orion the Hunter is another win for Alias Enterprises/Blue Water Productions. Despite the lack of action, issue #1 is an engaging and enjoyable read. From the story it is clear that Davis has put in a lot of research and, together with Sunder’s art, these efforts have ensured that Orion the Hunter is a great super hero comic.

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