Raiders Of The Lost Longbox – Episode 1 “The Orville”
Whelp here we are, a brand new feature from yours truly, because honestly… why the hell not… So what is “Raiders Of The Lost Longbox”?? Well we all have one, the longbox that we put all the comics that we “Have to get around to reading” in. Usually it sits under the coffee table, or next to your couch or chair, well I have one too.. mine is actually a shortbox, and it’s a “Hellboy” themed shortbox purchased from my homie Dan at Boom Tube Comics.
So what am I going to do? Well I’m going to randomly reach into that box (hehehe) pull out an arc, trade, or complete mini series, read it, and write about it. Guaranteed many of these books are months, or even years old, but what the hell, maybe YOU forgot about them too!! maybe you meant to buy them but forgot?? Or maybe if you are one of those psycopath comic readers that is actually up to date, this inspires you to re read something. Whatever the case may be, lets dig into that lost longbox and have some fun together.
For the first episode of this semi regular column, I decided on a 4 issue mini series from Dark Horse Comics based on the (formerly) FOX show “The Orville”. Put simply, “The Orville” is Seth MacFarlane’s love letter to “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and follows the exploits of Captain Ed Mercer (played by MacFarlane) and his crew. The book, written by David A. Goodman, not only a writer on the show but also it’s executive producer, and Penciled by David Cabeza takes place between the shows first and second seasons and is composed of two separate two issue stories, which helps to fill in some gaps with the shows second season.
I could spend the next two thousand words going through the respective plots of the series’ two stories, but honestly if you haven’t seen the show, anything I say will be completely lost on you, so my recommendation: Go watch the show (it’s fantastic) read the books, and then come back here (I promise I’ll wait).
You back yet??? Yes?? well fantastic… so lets continue:
I’m just going to come out and say it… why the hell were neither of these two arc’s shows? honestly… were they never written as shows? did they not have the money to make them as shows? Did FOX pull a “Firefly” with Orville and fornicate the canine? Because these books in my opinion are almost ESSENTIAL reading.
First off “New Beginnings” literally deals with the fallout of Mercer and Grayson breaking up AGAIN at the end of the first season, and it actually INTRODUCES us to Cassius, who (if you’ve only seen the show) just happens to show up in season two with almost NO explanation as to how Grayson and he met, or why she fell for him. It also tells a wonderful story about Mercer and Gordon getting stranded on a ruined planet after answering an old Union distress beacon while on the way to a conference. I won’t spoil the whole plot, but suffice to say it touches on many of TNG’s themes with the Prime Directive, and keeps completely with the tone and dialogue you have come to expect from the T.V. Show (no surprise with Goodman writing it).
Oh also random shoutout: it was nice to see Alara as the security chief again, while I have taken a shine to Keyali, I will always miss Halston Sage’s performances, watching her character arc as she struggled to finally feel worthy and competent after being made to feel the opposite her entire life was definitely one of the highlights of the show.
Cabeza’s art is very functional and that’s not a bad thing, it’s less “comic” and more “storyboard” it was so easy to visualize this as a show, and it made the panel to panel transitions easy on the reader, and as we all do, I read every characters dialogue in their real voice in my head. Cabeza also did a wonderful job on the faces of the characters, everyone looked very much like their real life counterparts which I greatly appreciated.
Honestly, I’m not sure how well a full Orville series would sell to the general public, it’s a really niche show, and would have an even more niche comic audience. BUT if it were to be made into a full series, it would definitely end up on my pull list. Much like the show that inspired it, The Orville has never shied away from issues of morality, religion, or life and death, and as you would expect, while MacFarlane’s trademark humor does weave its way through the scripts it never takes it over, and most importantly the shows ALWAYS have heart. And so does this book, as a matter of fact I can’t think of any greater compliment I can pay Goodman, Cabeza, and Dark Horse other than… It FEELS like the show.
Until Next Time Everyone,
Be Good To Your Fellow Nerd,