Orbiter Hardcover – 30 May 2003
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Publisher's Weekly, September 15th 2003: " Ellis has struck gold...giving this story an emotional depth far beyond that of typical sci-fi."
About the Author
Warren Ellis has worked for Marvel Comics on X-Men, for DC/WildStorm (The Authority, Transmetropolitan and the award-winning Planetary) and on an array of titles, including Ministry of Space, and the forthcoming Morning Dragons and Scars. Colleen Doran has illustrated Neil Gaiman's multi-award-winning Sandman series, and is writer and artist of A Distant Soil, a multiple award-winning series in its own right.
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Top Customer Reviews
So begins a truly imaginative science fiction narrative - one of the best to ever grace the shelves of a comic shop. And if that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, it may help to learn that 'Orbiter' is written by Warren Ellis - so we're spared nothing; intensity levels dialled up to eleven. There is wonder and awe, in spades; and there is disgusting, strange, weirdness, until you're left wondering exactly where some of the ideas come from. But just as Ellis knows where to pile it on, he also knows when to pull it back in: the final scene is perfect, understated and subtle. Whether you're a reader of science fiction who has never touched a graphic novel, or a comic-buyer who rarely touches straight SF, 'Orbiter' is simply a must-have book.
Additionally, Warren Ellis' introduction, rewritten in light of recent events, is itself a great piece of prose - autobiographical and journalistic, it is a commentary on the need for space-stories (and space exploration), more now than ever. 'Orbiter' was always going to be a great book, but after the loss of 'Columbia' it has become important in ways it wouldn't have been before. And Ellis pins down why.
yet one day, at cape kennedy which is now home to lots of transient families [a very striking image that opens the book] the venture suddenly comes home.
It's covered in something strange. Only one of the crew is on board. and he's not talking.
Can a rocket scientist, a former astronaut, and a psychologist help the military get to the bottom of the mystery?
both a science fiction mystery and a novel of character, orbiter centres on the first three of the above mentioned protagonists. altough the military guy is a pretty decent character in his own right. all three of them have their own reasons for dreaming of manned space flight resuming. they investigate the mystery, slowly find the answers [which get a bit technical at times but not desperately so] and their lives are changed by what happens as a result.
a book written and drawn by fans of space flight. and it shows. it considers what draws human beings to the prospect, and why humanity needs and wants to explore. all the characters develop nicely. The artwork and the colouring are very nice, and the end - if you have a sense of wonder - will make you smile.
and if you don't have a sense of wonder, that's your loss. Hopefully this book might inspire you to get one.
there is some strong language in this so it's for grown up readers only
"Orbiter" is probably my least favourite Warren Ellis book. I say this because it's the only book of his I haven't been able to finish, despite only being 100 pages long. First off the story isn't very clear. Humans now live in shanty towns but its unclear why. How is this level of poverty associated with space travel?
Secondly, I didn't care about the story of the "Orbiter" returning. Maybe this is because I recently read a far superior Ellis space story "Ocean" but this one seemed quite dull. The "mystery" which I didn't find out about was probably some alien who attached himself to the shuttle and thus made it travel great distances far beyond a shuttle's capabilities.
Thirdly, most of the story takes place in the drab, dirty area of a derelict Cape Canaveral. Not exactly visually appealing. This isn't a slight against Colleen Doran who does a decent illustrating job, but all of that grey and brown amid junk and debris doesn't exactly lift up the sub-par script.
Fourthly, a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense takes up the majority of the text. It's unreadable and uninteresting, especially when Ellis tries to attach some of his humour at the end of lots of exposition. It doesn't work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This comic helps lift the lid on why people want to get into space and a manned space program. Warren Ellis manages to keep a good plot going with great graphics and characters.Published on 23 July 2013 by New Horizons
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