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Black Orchid

A graphic novel written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean

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Black Orchid caused my love of Graphic Novels to bloom!

  • Nov 26, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
I am not a DC comic fan or collector, so please bear with me in giving you this review from a non-comic owner perspective.

While not a follower of the comics, I do love Neil Gaiman. This is the story of how Black Orchid comes to life and seeks out a meaning for, literally, the life given to her. She wants answers to the questions "Who am I? Why am I here?" and is desperate to find a place that she will belong.

Her tale is told with cameo appearances by Batman, Swamp Thing, and Poison Ivy; and you should not miss the nightmarish visit to the Arkham Asylum where a skeletal, sleepless man spills his nightmares on the floor, and the x-ray man weeps burning tears onto the floor.

She awakens as the Black Orchid in the greenhouse at Dr. Phillip Sylvian, with the memories of a woman named Susan Linden. Phil tells her about a little of her background, and tells her of those who he went to college with, without whom she would not be alive; Dr. Jason Woodrue, Pamela Isley and Alec Holland.

But before he can reveal everything to her, Phil is killed and the Black Orchid is on her own. Her ex husband Carl Thorne finds out about her plant-reincarnation, and makes a visit to her, killing all but one of the smaller plants that Phil has been nurturing. Black Orchid takes the little one with her, "Suzy", to Gotham city where a tip from a friend sends her off along to Arkham Asylum to speak with Poison Ivy. Suzy is snatched by Lexcorp, but after a quick visit with Swamp Thing, Black Orchid rescues Suzy and they fly off to the Amazon Rainforest where Black Orchid can plant her seeds.

But there are still those who hunt her down; her ex husband who is trying to kill her again, and the Lexcorp minions sent into the rainforest to bring her back alive so that she can be dissected. What a girl...er...plant, to do?

Brief comic strip type prose does not stop Gaiman from bringing to life a fully fleshed out story, and the artwork of Dave McKean is to be applauded. Moving from shades of gray to brilliantly splashed pages of vibrant color, he paints brutality, horror, and the sereneness of nature in the same ethereal fashion. This is an excellent choice for those who are just starting to dip their toes and get their feet wet in the world of Graphic Novels. Enjoy!

Black Orchid by Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman

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More Black Orchid reviews
review by . July 07, 2003
About the same time that Neil Gaiman took a little-known hero called the Sandman and created the rich mythology of Dream and the Endless, he reinvented another obscure character, Black Orchid, a plant-based heroine with ties to the likes of Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing. In this three-part story, Gaiman gives a whole new slant to the character, replacing a standard, gimmicky vigilante with a thought-provoking new entity entirely.Gaiman's story is brilliantly and expressively told through the art of …
review by . January 26, 2003
I picked this up for three dollars at a remainder fair in Denver while I was there for Anaconism, and read it on the plane coming home. It was a whim purchase, based solely on my good impression of Gaiman from Good Omens (co-written with Terry Pratchett) and his comic series, "Sandman." Black Orchid is a comic, and unlike "Sandman" for the most part, it is set in the superhero populated DC Universe (Batman, Swamp Thing, and the current inhabitants of the Arkham Asylum feature prominently in the …
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Ranked #48
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Wiki

From one of the most highly recognised and award winning comic writers on the scene today, Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Death, Violent Cases), and his sometime collaborator, innovative artist Dave McKean (Arkham Asylum, Cages, Violent Cases) comes a haunting and stylish exploration of birth, death and renewal. Both human and flower the heroine, Black Orchid, undertakes a hazardous journey to uncover her true origins, providing a moving ecological parable for our times. This work by Gaiman and Mckean is an early showcase for the talent we know today.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0930289552
ISBN-13: 978-0930289553
Author: Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Vertigo
Date Published: Septermber 1, 1991
Format: Graphic Novel
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