Written by Brian Azzarello
Art: by Eduardo Risso
Published by Vertigo Comics
When last we left the failed genetically enhanced experiment known as “Orson” he was stuck out in the middle of a no doubt completely polluted sea when he runs into something interesting. Turns out that the kidnapped billionaire heiress (on the news last issue) was out there on the dirty seas and has been dropped into his boat’s lap, along with the murderous kidnapper. The boat that the kidnapped and the kidnappee had been on had been destroyed. It’s not clear whether the boat was destroyed in an internal dispute or whether it had been destroyed by local entrepreneurial pirates.
Orson was on his way to being shot again, although its not clear that would kill him, when there was another explosion that ripped open the evil kidnapper and left the gun in the hand of the kidnappee. According to Orson he’s a big fan of Tara’s reality show (This is such an gawdawful future you wonder if she wasn’t kidnapped just to boost ratings.) Or as Orson phrases his admiration:
The world has gone to post environmental apocalyptic hell and people are still into reality shows? It’s a Truman Show world afterall. The best science fictional parts of this issue have to do with the origins of Orson and why he was genetically created. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the problems of going to Mars (Or seem to know nothing about even the basic science expressed on the Discovery Channel like the writers of Marijuanaman…still mad about that.) its very hard to go to Mars and would destroy the average body.
This would especially be the case if you’re looking at a Martian voyage that would take months though there is Zubrin plan out there (one way ticket) if you would like to go. I also call it something else: a suicide mission. We need genetic engineering to evolve in order to go to the stars. The Guardians of the Galaxy origin makes perfect sense.
There is a somewhat famous science fiction novel called Man Plus by Frederick Pohl, oldest living science fiction blogger in captivity, that describes a very crude human hacking that you could do as imagined in its publication date in the 70s. Here’s that result on the cover: Looks hideous. But in the Spaceman 2 future with the best of genetic engineering (not entirely foreseen in the 70s) you could build an Orson and he would be fine with both the bone crunching radiation drenched trip and the low g living conditions on Mars. The writer explains in this issue that there were political problems with going to Mars, as illustrated by this passage.
This is a completely plausible result or the idea that a conservative American populace wouldn’t be that curious and wouldn’t want to do the exploration with genetically engineered mutants. It’s not entirely certain whether Orson was abandoned because of the project or because he seems a little slow. You get the idea that better designed x people might have made the trip. In any event, Orson gets to show off his superior size, strength and speed by killing everybody that wants to exploit or hurt Tara in anyway. Orson has been shot twice, once in the head, and it barely slows him down. Here he is in action:
Overall, a pretty good read. Wondrously drawn and colored. 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’m trying to figure out the happy ending for Orson and I’m guessing it’s a real trip to Mars, if he lives through this at all. Stay tuned for Spaceman 3.