Comic Review: The Orville: The Word of Avis

Published: September 11th, 2019 – October 16th, 2019
Written by: David A. Goodman
Art by: David Cabeza, Michael Atiyeh
Based on: The Orville by Seth MacFarlane

Dark Horse, 44 Pages

Review:

I was pretty happy with the first story arc for The Orville comic book series.

Now this one is the second tale and I thought that it was pretty consistent with the first in tone and delivery.

The comic series gets what the show is and it does a fine job of bringing it into a new medium, which hopefully helps this franchise reach out to new fans, as it’d be a shame if The Orville was just a short-lived television show.

This story revolves around the ex-lover of LaMarr and how she and some of her colleagues are trying to use the Orville to sneak into Krill territory due to their newfound religious beliefs.

Like the first arc, this is told over two issues but it has the pacing and feel of a full one hour episode of the show. Honestly, these feel like lost episodes and since they take place between other events we’ve already seen play out in live action, these stories just come together with the larger narrative pretty well.

Eventually, I’d like to see bigger stories and maybe even big events told within the comic book format but The Orville in this form is off to a pretty solid start.

These comics actually remind me of what it was like when I was a kid in the ’80s reading the best Star Trek comic books. Frankly, that’s all I really wanted this to be and it hits those notes for me.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: I’m sure future story arcs for The Orville. Also, IDW’s Star Trek comics.

Comic Review: The Orville: New Beginnings

Published: July 17th, 2019 – August 14th, 2019
Written by: David A. Goodman
Art by: David Cabeza, Michael Atiyeh
Based on: The Orville by Seth MacFarlane

Dark Horse, 46 Pages

Review:

Out the gate, this isn’t a great comic but it’s a pretty enjoyable one that captures the tone, humor and humanity of the television show pretty well. And honestly, I hope that this is just the start of more comics and possibly books, toys and other products tied into The Orville.

This first story arc was a two-parter and it reads like it’s the length and pace of a regular hour long episode. This is a small, simple story but it does a good job of bringing these already beloved characters into a new medium.

I dug the artwork and all the characters’ likenesses were good. Additionally, it just felt like a real extension of the show and didn’t get bogged down by the artist trying to stamp their own style on the book.

The story takes place around the beginning of season two, between some episodes. I think that the comic may have stated where it took place exactly but I don’t recall from my shitty memory.

In any event, I like that this exists within the television show continuity and isn’t some alternate timeline or new take on the franchise. Yes, I said “franchise”. Because with a comic and some other things in the works, this is more than just a simple television show. It’s kind of becoming a mini phenomenon even if it has left Fox and is taking a year off to prepare for its move to Hulu.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: I’m sure future story arcs for The Orville. Also, IDW’s Star Trek comics.

TV Review: The Orville (2017- )

Original Run: September 10th, 2017 – current
Created by: Seth MacFarlane
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane, various
Written by: Seth MacFarlane, various
Music by: Bruce Broughton, Joel McNeely, John Debney, Andrew Cottee
Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Jessica Szohr, Victor Garber, Chad Coleman, Norm Macdonald, Jason Alexander, Patrick Warburton, Rob Lowe, Robert Picardo, Larry Joe Campbell, Kelly Hu, Rachael MacFarlane (voice)

Fuzzy Door Productions, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox, 12 Episodes (so far), 44 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Orville. I intended to watch it last year, after the first season wrapped up, but life throws curveballs and I didn’t get to it until the current, second season, started.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a show that looked to be a parody of Star Trek from the man behind Family Guy. I’m not a big fan of that show but I also don’t really dig animated comedies, at least since the earliest days of South Park.

This doesn’t reflect the same sort of humor style or tone of Family Guy, however. It’s just really f’n clever and beyond the comedy, this show is written in a way that makes it very clear that Seth MacFarlane truly is a fan of Star Trek and most notably, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It feels as if it most directly parodies TNG and some of Voyager. But I can’t really call it a parody, even if it seemed to start out that way.

Yes, there is a lot of humor but it is almost secondary and as the show progresses, it learns to balance itself better between comedy and real drama. In fact, the comedy is used perfectly in how it eases tension and emotions in the right moments.

As of now, having seen about 15 episodes of this show, I can say that it is the best version of Star Trek since Deep Space Nine left the air in 1999, twenty years ago. The Orville is more Star Trek than modern Star Trek. It understands the source material it borrows from better than any of the film or television writers that have tried to resurrect it over the last two decades.

Everything about The Orville just feels right. If it maintains its momentum, I’ll have to adjust the rating and make it higher. I’m skeptical that it can maintain this trajectory over the long haul but I also don’t think that it’ll ever devolve into something terrible.

Thus far, I love this show and I can’t thank Seth MacFarlane enough for plugging a large hole in my fanboy heart.

Rating: 8.75/10
Pairs well with: Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager.