The intention of perception is relegated, at least in narrative, the way the characters perceive their existence or, by extension, their purpose in our mind’s eye. In “Orphans: Volume 2 – Lies” [Robert Recchioni/Lion Forge/352pgs], the ideal is based in the idea that in a post apocalyptic world, like that of “The Darkest Minds”, the decisions of the characters become based out of survival and not necessarily good judgement. The way “Orphans” approaches this ideal is by a couple different artists approaching the similar story line and progression at the get go. In the post discussion, the artists speak about how the necessity of body language especially when dealing with YA stories tends to precipitate on a certain mental structure and thereby intention of character. Looking at the different lead characters in Ringo, Sam, Rey and Saul (by extension), their different strengths and weaknesses are built in the early frames. But when the war shifts a decade or more the comparison of how the characters grow in certain ways shows how the different artists truly see them. The later chapters show the actual plot progression a bit more including the mutation testing and ultimate brainwashing of these children to make them the killers they grow up to be. The training in the forest where their trainers set them against death row inmates also shows the psychological breakdown of the team. Ringo & Sam are the focal point of the team with her being the more powerful but undisciplined. This creates a unique situation when she beats Rey within an inch of his life in the first story. Ringo is the one who tries to save Sam by talking and fighting his way back into her heart and soul. This is a very telling scene which makes a later scene where Ringo has already died and Sam is reaching out to Saul that much more heartbreaking. These kids have much to lose but the question is why. Saul questions his motivation and yet Doctor Puric engages the point in that this is why they were created. In the final perception of this volume, Ringo sees the mission for what it is while Rey sees it for what it has become. “Orphans: Volume 2 – Lies” is a good exercise in the perception of psychological crafting if story through physical traits where the artist and their angle through the writing allows for different read each way it is seen.
By Tim Wassberg