REVIEW: ‘The Orville: Launch Day,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Orville: Launch Day
The Orville: Launch Day #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by David A. Goodman, art by David Cabeza, colors by Michael Atiyeh, with lettering by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt. Twenty years ago, the Alibar Homeworld withdrew its membership in the Union under mysterious circumstances. Following their departure, they entered a state of self-isolation, allowing no offworlders to visit their planet. But when the Krill detect an unusual structure in the Alibar star system, they believe it to be a weapon and decide to launch a preemptive attack. It’s up to the Orville to defuse the situation.

While The Orville: Launch Day #1 is my first experience with the property, I instantly felt right at home. Even with the particulars of organizations and races all new to me, I never managed to feel lost or disoriented. Anyone who has watched a Star Trek program will feel right at home. This works in its favor for new readers as no time needs to be wasted with explanations. If you have been curious about the property, but don’t subscribe to the correct streaming service to view the show, you have no need to worry about feeling lost picking this up if you have a background in its obvious spiritual predecessor.

The Orville: Launch Day #1’s particular story does a great job optimizing its time. As the first of a two-part mini-series, getting to the point quickly was important. Goodman does a great job of trimming the fat out of dialogues while not cutting them too short as to feel disjointed. With a Krill battle squadron headed for the mysterious Alibar system, The Orville intercepts the squadron to ascertain it’s purpose.  Upon getting all the details, Captain Mercer is able to get a two-day window to investigate the Alibar system to ascertain if they pose a threat. To do this, the Captain leads a small away team disguised as locals to investigate what has been happening on Alibar for the last two decades.

As stated before, The Orville: Launch Day #1 hits the ground running and it gets to exactly where it needs to be. With tensions rising in orbit, and the situation on the ground raising more questions than providing answers, the issue’s story delivers a great first half to its narrative.

The art in this book does an excellent job recreating it’s cast. Just from my familiarity with the trailers I’ve seen, I recognized the primary characters, and the depictions of the cast remain consistent throughout.

Consistency in the depiction of facial features is always tough given the myriad number of angles comic art often takes with its subjects. I’ve always found these, often minor, slip-ups to be significantly more noticeable when the subject is based on a real person. Cabeza manages to avoid this pitfall with an impressive amount of skill. Never once was I pulled out of the story due to an oddly portrayed face. The coloring work in The Orville: Launch Day #1 does a solid job of completing the book’s art. Atiyeh’s use of light stands out in many of the panels, giving both characters and objects an excellent sense of place in each of the images. Lastly, the letter work in this story does a spot-on job of delivering its narrative. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow along with.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Orville: Launch Day #1. It provides a fun and interesting story that leaves enough questions unanswered that I definitely want to catch the finale to see how it all turns out.

The Orville: Launch Day #1 is available on August 19th wherever comics are sold.

The Orville: Launch Day #1
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TL;DR

I thoroughly enjoyed The Orville: Launch Day #1. It provides a fun and interesting story that leaves enough questions unanswered that I definitely want to catch the finale to see how it all turns out.