Order and Outrage #2
The Order promises peace through order. All they ask is that you obey without question. Disobedience is treason--a crime punished by elimination. If you are outside of the system? You are non-essential--a crime punishable by elimination. But it only takes one spark to turn basic survival into a full-blown resistance--one act to turn fearful individuals into a powerful movement. It is not enough just to survive, one must be allowed to live!
Whereas the first issue felt a bit jumbled around with its three separator narratives, Order and Outrage #2 is a lot more cohesive, allowing time for the narrative to breathe. Order and Outrage #2 picks up with our protagonist’s backstory being fleshed out. Jim Starlin is well-known for his expansive Marvel cosmic tales with Adam Warlock and Thanos, making this character-focused tale of class warfare feels like a breath of fresh air while feeling right at home.
The first part of this issue focuses on Megan and her backstory, building upon the narrative in a delightfully paced manner. Though the plot seems recycled in many ways, much is hidden in the subtext. There is a distinct dichotomy between the lives lived within The Order and what we see outside the city walls. In other narratives, this is often depicted as the rich and lower classes. Star Wars, for example, shows this with the upper class of Coruscant living in luxury and wealth while the lower class lives in poverty and filth. However, they both have access to the same futuristic technology that fans of the Star Wars universe have become familiar with. In Order and Outrage, the disparity is much more significant, with those living outside the city living almost like cavemen. Megan is shown dressed in minimal clothing that is clearly handmade. Her caretaker has some access to technology and books, yet they are stolen and minimal. In contrast, The Order is shown in a Star Trekian design, with more futuristic technology and cleanliness. This stark contrast not only helps hammer in the poignancy of the narrative but also separates this tale from previous stories that share its themes.
The second part of this issue is where the narrative falls apart, revealing that Megan’s boyfriend is working for a resistance faction that seeks to find whatever The Order is looking for on the planet they are heading towards. A fight ensues, resulting in the boyfriend’s death and Megan going through with his plan, resulting in the deaths of all those on their space station as she escapes. This complicates the narrative as Megan initially disagrees with the resistance’s plan since she knows it will kill everyone. Initially, you can find common ground with her, as she is stuck between taking down The Order and killing many unassuming people. This internal conflict leads her to kill the man she loves after claiming she will get a promotion once she turns him in, only for her to decide to enact the plan anyway. This felt less like a plot twist and more like an inconsistency among her character. The issue then ends abruptly on much less than a cliffhanger.
Rags Morales continues to do a primarily great job with the art here; however, this issue takes a turn towards the end when depicting a violent scene that came off as overindulgent and grotesque. Typically, flight scenes with this much blood indicate a strong severity, such as a life-altering wound, but here it seems to be all for show. Morales’s depiction of the bloody wound is thrown off by the lack of consistency, with little to no detail about the wound. The extensive blood seems to be flowing out of nowhere, with a small amount of detail on the character’s head that doesn’t match the amount of blood spread across each page. By the end of the issue, it all felt unnecessary and an odd creative choice. Unfortunately, this is not made any better by the red color palette chosen for the blood since it felt just as fake as it did disgusting. Hairy Brown does an excellent job with the rest of the coloring, bringing vibrancy to the panels and filling this world in a lovely way.
Outside this scene, Morales does a fun job with the character designs, especially with Megan’s caretaker. The alien design is a mix between a bipedal humanoid torso and legs and a fish-like head. This character’s eyes provide all of the contexts you’d need for conveying emotion, with Morales putting a lot of emphasis on the eyelids. A fun missed opportunity would have been for Starlin and the letter Michael Hester to play with the speech pattern and bubbles to give this character a unique voice. As it is, the character looks fun but sounds monotone in his voice and syntax.
Order and Outrage #2 does a great job in its worldbuilding but fumbles a bit in the narrative choices. Similarly, the art is mostly great, with just the ending going overboard on the blood.
Order and Outrage #2: You Can Definitely Hear Chaos and Disarray in Space
- Writing - 6.5/106.5/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 6.5/106.5/10
- Color - 7.5/107.5/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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