The Covid-19 pandemic has left its mark on numerous Hollywood productions, including Seth McFarlane’s The Orville. I wrote an article last year on why it is a definite must-watch. Sadly, season 3 has been on hold, despite filming having started in October of 2019. Right now I assume that the show starring McFarlane, Adrianne Palicki and Scott Grimes is set for 2021. If it is not cancelled outright. I do not think there will be a chance in hell that will happen considering the show has already left its mark. But these are strange days. So, what can fans do to remain connected to The Orville? Well, there is the limited run comic series called The Orville: Launch Day. Issue #1 is what I will be discussing in this article. It is published by Dark Horse Comics and written by David A. Goodman.
That Star Trek feel
Right from the opening page the atmosphere reeks of classic Star Trek. We see a young Mercer and Malloy repairing a shuttlecraft, while they served together on the Bohr. One of their crew mates, who does not appear to know Mercer is set to return to his home-world of Alibar. The planet has decided to leave the Union after a xenophobic government is elected. 20 years later Alibar continues to have sealed it borders. In a quick turn of events we see how the Krill cross the Union border to destroy Alibar. The Krill have detected the construction of a massive space station and fear it is a weapons, as does the Union. Captain Mercer and Commander Grayson receive permission to scout Alibar to determine if there is a threat. And so we are set on a classic Star Trek adventure, but with the unique Orville flavor added.
Captain Mercer portrays the classic Trek character that takes the moral highroad, even as the reader of the comic guess that the Alibar are working on a weapon. This trend continues when each character takes a unique position vis-à-vis the Alibar, or the Krill or Union. Commander Grayson is generally supportive of Mercer, but will act as his alter-ego. Malloy takes the cynical position while Bortus supports Mercer – most of the time. That dynamic continues with this comic series and makes it feel just like the series. Mercer’s and Greyson’s infiltration of the planet Alibar by disguising themselves as locals using prosthetics is also straight out of The Next Generation. Launch Day shows 1984-ish society in which all strangers are treated with suspicion, complete with billboards announcing the progress on the alien annihilating superweapon. The fact that Mercer and Greyson are outside the range of The Orville adds suspense.
Juts pick up The Orville Launch Day
I cannot praise Launch Day Part 1 enough. It is a snappy, witty read that reminds me just how much The Orville reminds me of TNG. The writing is clever, it is fast paced and does not get bogged down. I also enjoyed the art direction and coloring and I thank David Cabeza and Michael Atiyeh for that, respectively. It completes the impression that I am watching an episode of The Orville on TV, with this issue covering roughly the first half of an episode. Launch Day Part 2 is set for release on October 7. Afterwards a new two-parter will start its release in November. I hope that will wet enough people’s appetite to continue the wait for season 3 of The Orville. If you enjoyed this review then please fill out the subscription widget on the right. That way you will never miss an article on SciFiEmpire.net.