Comic Review: The Rainbow Orchid – Volume 2

In Volume Two, the intrepid Julius Chancer journeys from Europe to the Indian sub-continent as he steps up his quest for the rainbow orchid. He soon discovers he has enemies more dangerous than he could ever have imagined who are determined to prevent him from finding the mystical flower. “The Rainbow Orchid” is an ambitious blend of classic storytelling, and cinematic artwork, in which adventure, historical drama and legend are seamlessly intertwined.

My first advice to anyone sitting down to read either volume one or two of Rainbow Orchid is to go through the following checklist.

  1. Do I have a mug of tea  (not coffee…TEA) ?
  2. Is it  Saturday/Sunday afternoon ?
  3. Do I have a packet of chocolate biscuits? (ok Rich Tea at a push.)
  4. Is my Tv/PC/Games Console switched off? (Indiana Jones or The Rocketeer soundtrack playing in background is acceptable.)
  5. Do I thirst for adventure?

If all or most of those requirements have been met then you’re ready, my bold adventurer, to join Julius Chancer and his chums on the second leg of their epic quest for the mysterious Rainbow Orchid.

Volume 2 much like it’ predecessor was an absolute joy to read. Bright, lavish and intricate artwork adorn every panel and the attention to detail on the different locations and their inhabitants really add to this globe-trotting tale.

With all the set up of the way in the first volume the story moved at a cracking pace and no sooner do Julius and the gang escape from one cliffhanger when they find themselves staring down another, in some cases quite literary.

I loved all the Archeological jargon and historical references. As a fan of all things pulp adventure it was right up my street. In one scene I could almost hear the Well of Souls track playing from Raiders of the Lost Ark  as one of the characters talked about an ancient tablet. It’s clear that Garen has a love  for this genre and knows the source material we’s working from.

Second time around there are more locales, characters and situations to contend with and these additions, alongside the more involved plot, make volume two a marked improvement over volume one which, to be honest, I didn’t think could be improved upon for this type of book.  Julius and the other key characters are never lost in the mix and Garen makes sure the reader gets to know more about the characters he’s expecting you to rooting. There’s a great origin scene with Julius which I would have loved to seen expanded more but it still works really well in this volume.

Julius Chancer is a great hero in that classic tradition who doesn’t see himself as the hero, he’s the everyman just trying to do the best he can.  You root for him because he not a martial arts expert or a crack marksman he’s just a guy thrown into extraordinary circumstances and must step up to the challenges before him. Quite a few times he questions his role in what’s going on and whether he’s made the right choice and it really makes him a more rounded character than volume one may have had me believe.

There are a lot of plot threads to tie up in the next volume and I hope Garen manages to wrap them all up in a satisfying manner and not left himself too big a hill climb.

In true pulp adventure style volume 2 ended with a great cliffhanger that left me shaking my fist at the final panel as it mocked me silently from the page promising all would be concluded in Volume 3.

Rainbow Orchid continues to be a fantastically fun all ages, globe-trotting adventure with sinister secret societies, dashing daredevils, dynamic damsel not so in distress, fiendish femme fatales and ruthless rapscallions.

GS Reviewer: Nuge

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2 comments

  1. Glen /

    So that’s Geek Syndicate and Small Press Big Mouth extolling the virtues of this book, this is going on my list to pick up when thought bubble comes around this year.

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