07 September, 2013

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean [Stanley, Central City Library]


Most of the things that “everybody knows” are not true – Batman. Everyone knows that graphic novels (sorry, comics) with superheroes are just about your average middle-aged man-child in tights, who saves the world through violently defeating the bad guys, right?

This underrated classic, from the author of The Sandman and American Gods, doesn’t play by the rules – and is better for it. The story begins when our hero is murdered at the hands of gangsters. Reborn as a plant-human hybrid, she must uncover her origins, and find out what led to her death.

Set in the comic world of Lex Luthor, Gotham City and Swamp Thing, the action takes us to locations as diverse as Arkham Asylum, and the Amazon rainforest. Gangsters, corrupt cops and Susan’s lovers and friends almost take a back seat to the gorgeous illustrations that beautifully portray her world and interior life.  I loved the way this tale was told – a journey told through dream-like pictures and at a slower pace than the average graphic.

If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, or a different take on the action/mystery/superhero story, then this is for you.

Title: Black Orchid
Authors: Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean
ISBN: 9781401233358
Published: 2012 (Deluxe edition; originally published 1989)
Publisher: DC Comics

 - Stanley, Central City Library

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