REVIEW: ‘The Orville: Artifacts,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Orville: Artifacts #1

The Orville: Artifacts #1 is written by David A. Goodman, illustrated by David Cabeza, colored by Michael Atiyeh, and lettered by Richard Starkings with Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt. It is published by Dark Horse Comics and is based on The Orville television series created by Seth McFarlane. While the Orville is docked at a Union outpost, Captain Ed Mercer is approached by his old Union Point professor, LaMarche, who has a request. LaMarche has been studying an ancient race known as the Zankon and asks Mercer to take the Orville to the Cruxis system where their fleet of starships are located. The trouble is that the Cruxis system’s magnetic and gravitational fields make it extremely difficult to navigate, and LaMarche’s obsession may lead to doom for the Orville…

The Orville is a television show that I wholeheartedly enjoy, and was a welcome surprise; part of the fun is seeing MacFarlane’s love for the Star Trek universe filtered into a new show, as well as the balance of science-fiction and comedic elements. Dark Horse had previously published a number of Orville miniseries including “Heroes” and “Launch Day,” which essentially act as “lost episodes” of the series. Goodman serves as an executive producer and writer on the series and has written every one of the miniseries to date; under his pen, Artifacts features some well-placed jokes (mostly at Lt. Gordon Malloy’s expense) and in the vein of all good sci-fi stories explores themes such as the dangers of obsession. It turns out that LaMarche is willing to go to any length to find the Zankon fleet, which leads to the Orville suffering severe damage on its journey.

Joining Goodman is the artistic team of Cabeza and Atiyeh, who have also worked on the previous Orville miniseries. Cabeza’s artwork provides a stunning likeness of The Orville‘s cast; you’d swear MacFarlane and the rest of the cast were sitting right in front of you. He also gets to design new creatures including LaMarche’s assistant Chalmi, a green furry ball who looks like she stepped off the set of Lost in Space.

Atiyeh’s color work is the perfect fit for the issue. The Orville itself is a shining silver that stands out in the dark, cold void of space and its interiors have the same space-age aesthetic from the show. Starkings and Benacourt’s letters have a classic flair to them, which is unsurprising considering that Starkings has lettered various comic books across the years. And it also features an uncensored curse word, which I was not expecting but seems to fit with The Orville‘s move to Hulu for its third season.

The Orville: Artifacts #1 continues to expand the world of The Orville, featuring the same balance of science-fiction and comedy that made the show a great watch. If you’re a fan of The Orville, I highly suggest picking this book up along with the other series while waiting for The Orville: New Horizons to premiere next year on Hulu.

The Orville: Artifacts #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Orville: Artifacts #1
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TL;DR

The Orville: Artifacts #1 continues to expand the world of The Orville, featuring the same balance of science-fiction and comedy that made the show a great watch. If you’re a fan of The Orville, I highly suggest picking this book up along with the other series while waiting for The Orville: New Horizons to premiere next year on Hulu.