Orc Stain 1 (January 2010)

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I’ve been hearing about Orc Stain for a while. But I had no idea what to expect. I knew Stokoe worked hard on the art for each issue, but knowing he inked and colored his pencils himself didn’t tell me anything about the content. I didn’t even know there were orcs in it, not really.

After this issue, I still don’t know what to expect. I know the setting now–Stokoe’s warring orcs are kind of like Smurfs gone violent and gross–but he hasn’t established a tone. The protagonist seems to be One-Eye (orcs don’t have given names) who robs safes and crypts with an annoying, bossy green sidekick.

Stokoe’s writing is fine. His dialogue is all solid and his characters, if nameless, are strong enough for a first issue. He does, however, have One-Eye narrating a part of the issue to a non-orc reader, which doesn’t make sense.

CREDITS

Writer, artist, colorist and letterer, James Stokoe; publisher, Image Comics.