ORCS! #3 Review
ORCS! #3 sees our band of orcs out in the wide Known World, fighting trolls, hunger, and each other. The series is written and illustrated by Christine Larsen (Adventure Time, By Night), with variant covers by Sweeney Boo and Jonboy Meyers.
Bog, Pez, Zep, Utzu, Gurh, and Sprog have been exiled out into the Known World by themselves. Not that they have anything to worry about, nobody would mess with an orc after all. Though they may not be quite prepared for the threats of hunger and enchanted mushrooms. They also may not be the biggest and hungriest things about, not when there are trolls in these woods.
ORCS! #3 is published by BOOM! Studios under their imprint KaBOOM! And is available from April 21, 2021.
ORCS! #3 Story
I need to start this review by touching on the pure optimism, perhaps naivety, of our protagonists. Our hero orcs are pariahs and exiled from their tribe, but they’re not going to let something like that get in their way. There’s an infectious nature to the confidence they hold even in the face of adversity, things have gone badly, and yet they’re ready to face the Known World with only the bare bones of a plan. It’s this optimism that makes them such fun and endearing characters to follow on their misadventures, makes us want to see them succeed even as they stumble from one problem to another.
Larsen keeps up the pure fun that made me fall in love with this series in issue 1, continuing to provide some truly light-hearted fantasy adventure that leaves you wanting more each time you finish an issue. This issue pits our heroes against hunger, trolls, and enchanted mushrooms and it’s an absolute joy to read through each situation. That isn’t to say there isn’t more to the issue than just fun, as Larsen continues to give her orc characters some real heart and emotion that makes them so easy to relate to.
I also have to once again praise Larsen for her understanding of fantasy tropes, archetypes, and origins and how she weaves them into the tale. The trolls here are a great example, being such a perfect representation of the folk tale monsters while still having her own style that makes them fit so well into this world she has built. Part of why I keep reading is just to see what she brings in next (and on that the end of this issue had me laugh out loud with excitement).
ORCS! #3 Art
Larsen’s art continues to stay on point, using her style to great effect in bringing this world to life and giving the characters real emotions that punch off the page. It’s impossible to look into those orc eyes and not feel exactly what they’re feeling. Larsen’s art has made me connect with these orcs in a way human characters in other books never get me to do. There’s also a sequence involving enchanted mushrooms that is just a delightful trip of pastel colours that I just love looking at. This also wouldn’t be a review of ORCS! if I didn’t once again note how much the art makes me see this as making a wonderful animated series.
ORCS #3 Conclusion
ORCS! may be onto its third issue now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to jump onto this wonderful series. I beg of you to not let the fact it’s ‘all-ages’ prevent you from reading it, because if you do you are missing out in a major way. The only thing stopping you from enjoying a joyous ride is yourself at that point.
I just truly hope more people will give this series a try. I guarantee that if you have any interest in fantasy you will find something to love. Also, this particular issue gets bonus points from me for reminding me to put my dinner in the fridge.
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