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Black Orchid (Black Orchid Prestige)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  7,604 ratings  ·  335 reviews
By the acclaimed writer of THE SANDMAN LIBRARY. Consider the orchid: exotic, intoxicating and rare. Consider Black Orchid: a demigoddess in search of her own identity. The flowerlike result of a scientific experiment, the Black Orchid must reconcile her human memories with her botanical origins. Graphic novel format. Mature readers.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by DC Comics (first published January 1st 1990)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
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Required Reading Graphic Novels
271st out of 805 books — 1,438 voters

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Community Reviews

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Keep your love beads in your patchouli-reeking denim vest, hippie, this is a super hero comic. Of sorts.

Oh, and the pony tail combined with the receding hair line doesn’t do much for you either.

Neil Gaiman, the guy who writes comics for real smart people (myself not included) tries to re-invent the titled D-list superhero, and bring her kicking and screaming into the “modern” world of comics.

Since Neil Gaiman doesn’t write comics for shallow people like you, does this mean there
3.5 stars

Black Orchid is more or less the same kind of thing I've come to expect from Gaiman.
In other words, if you love his Don'tNeedToExplainEverything style of storytelling, then this will more than likely be a winner with you.
I prefer to be told or shown what the author is trying to convey, and quite often I think Gaimen likes to leave things to the reader's imagination a bit too much for my taste.
I'm not saying that this story was particularly confusing or that it leaves you hanging when th
This book is beautiful. I mean, you say that sometimes, it's a word that we fling around and use when we can't think of anything else to say. But this book is beautiful.

The art is stunning and makes you feel as though you're in a dream. And the story... it's certainly no ordinary superhero tale. It is, and I feel safe saying this, entirely its own thing. Neil Gaiman shows off his talent for original and profound story telling, and Dave McKean brings it to life with the most insanely beautiful ar
It's hard for me to review comic books and graphic novels because I don't know all the lingo even though I've been reading both on and off for years (Thor comics specifically since at least by my preteen years). My boyfriend knows the shit out of comic books and puts everyone to shame - he knows the lingo, he knows the people, he's collaborated himself with others and done some of his own solo work. He's in the know. I, on the other hand, can converse as far as "This was pretty" and "That was ba ...more
J.G. Keely
An important example of the re-creation and reimagining of comics by British authors during the mid eighties, Black Orchid combines Gaiman's mythology with McKean's powerful artistic visions in the series which made their careers.

Like Moore's 'Swamp Thing' or Morrison's 'Animal Man', Gaiman was given the opportunity to place his stamp on a pre-existing hero; and like the others, by betraying cliche and embracing a suitably mystic sense of realism, succeeds admirably. (as an aside, Watchmen was s
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

This was a really really crazy read. Gorgeous art and some really pretty fairytale-ish writing, but it ended up being something completely different than I expected. I didn't realize that Black Orchid was a DC superhero, nor did I expect so many DC superheroes and villains to appear. I mostly checked it out because of Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman did a good job, but the writing at times was so esoteric and elusive, that I got lost trying to figure it out.

But the drawings were purty!
Malo sam razočaran ovom grafičkom novelom. Očigledno su moja očekivanja bila prevelika - Gaiman, likovi,... A na kraju se svelo na osrednju priču koja teče veoma sporo... I sama Orhideja deluje kao jednodimenzionalna paćenica koja ni sama ne zna šta hoće. Ono što je dobro jesu epizodne uloge Betmena, Džokera,... a celu stvar iz mulja vadi odlična grafika.
Kada sve sumiram sve se svodi na neku osrednju trojčicu...
Arielle Walker
Hands down the most beautiful comic/graphic book I have ever read. The artwork is stunning, and the story is complimentary to it. There are a few familiar characters (Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Lex Luthor, Batman etc) but it's is Black Orchid who makes it really worth reading. Though to be honest, the art is so gorgeous I'd probably read it even if the story was crap. Luckily, the story and writing is equal to its illustrations. I'm pretty sure I'm just repeating myself but there isn't really a lo ...more
Sep 25, 2007 Melle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: DC Comics fans
Shelves: graphic-novel
I am trying to appreciate graphic novels, but I don't think my visual artistic intelligence works well in combination with my literary intelligence. For one thing, my visual artistic intelligence is severely limited.

I liked the concept of the Black Orchid, like Poison Ivy, one of the familiar DC Comics characters that appeared (as did Batman, Harvey Dent, the Mad Hatter, etc.). However, I think the story was on a deeper level (or trying to be), that I could not appreciate. (How did it all of a s
It's kind of adorable to read this because I didn't think it was that great. If I'd started out with this book instead of Sandman, I would've taken some convincing to continue with Gaiman's oeuvre. It's not that I didn't like the story; in fact, I really like how he weaves Batman & Lex Luthor & Swamp Thing & all of that together. It was just a little too vague, a little too much moping by Black Orchid. Too much f-a-all-ll-ing - seriously, once would've been enough for that page layou ...more
Here's a little anecdote to indicate just how marginal a character Black Orchid was (and remains): when Neil Gaiman was first getting involved with DC, they offered him characters from their stable for him to resurrect (as was popular at the time). Gaiman already had an idea, but when British he told American DC editors, they misheard his accent and thought he said 'Blackhawk Kid.' The misunderstanding was sorted, and the relevant book was produced, but it's important to note that not only did t ...more
I'm thinking this would have gone down a lot better when it was a current publication. That's not to say it's without merits. It's very nice artwork by McKean, and the writing by Neil Gaiman is interesting, but as with many late 80s graphic novels, it doesn't feel like it has aged well. Not to say it's bad, because it's not, it just didn't do a heck of a lot for me. I enjoyed Alan Moore's Swamp Thing more. That being said, it was cool to see the inclusion of some DC folk, such as Batman, Arkham, ...more
Astonishingly, breath-takingly, soul-squeezingly beautiful.

This is an early work of Gaiman's, pre-dating his (justly) much-lauded Sandman series; so one could forgive it for being a little clumsy, underdeveloped, as even great authors' first books often are. One can, in such cases, appreciate the writer's first stumbling steps toward what they will later become, and graciously overlook the flaws. These early works are the delight of biographers and purists, treasured like embarrassing middle-sc
Gaiman and McKean make a wonderful team, and never has that come through as clearly as in this book. There is a poetic style to both the writing and the visuals, in which transitions and metaphor play a heavy part. It's one of the most beautifully illustrated comic books I've ever seen, and the dialogue is touching and believable. The plot is so thoroughly unexpected, too, and it's a great ride. I took a little more time reading this comic than I normally take, because I wanted to pore over ever ...more
Dave Maddock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book to be honest, it wasn't exactly a page turner but it made me what to continue it, the story was intriguing and although I had a bit of trouble following the events in the beginning, everything made sense in the end which was great.
This book made me think and just gave me such a calm feeling, it was nice :)
Good story from Mr Gaiman in his early days. A nice premise on the superhero genre and Dave Mckeans art works great here too.
Maybe my expectations were a little high, since this are Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean - but I was a little disappointed. Everything is very artsy and beautiful and the dialogue flows, as always in Gaiman's writing, but the story felt very incomplete to me, and the characters were not as well rounded as I've come to expect in Gaiman's work. Compared to how much work it was to get through Black Orchid - I haven't struggled as much with a graphic novel since From Hell - I found it surprisingly littl ...more
I'm really uncertain how I feel about this book. On one hand the art is phenomenal - Dave McKean has created a beautiful book. Every page is full of color, emotion, and a softness which blankets even the grimmest details. Even the layout of the panels is excellent. It truly is stunning. On the other hand I don't think I'm the target audience for this particular volume. It ties into the DC universe more than I expected, and while I recognize such figures as Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, and of course ...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
No doubt that the art is stunning and makes you feel as though you're in a dream, but the story to me was a let down. I didn't enjoy that much. Nevertheless it was good to see a comic superhero turned into a psycological adventure instead of the usual action. Quite good. It was nice to see Lex Luthor. In the end it was not my favourite comic book, and I was at a loss with the second of three chapters, and I was a bit dissapointed.
I was drawn to this after looking through the TPBs at a local comic book shop. It’s absolutely gorgeous. My experience with Dave McKean before has just been the covers for Sandman, which are pretty different. My attraction to his art was 95% of the reason I read this.

The first issue was intriguing. There are these plant women that are kind of superhero-y. Some dude made them. They are kind of the same woman but not.

The driving force of the second and third issues was the “who am I” syndrome and
5 for me because of a new style, engaging story and with a very appropriately blended art. Even the paper's texture is different. (Or is it just me?) Maybe I'm easy to please. Maybe I'm in the mood for mystics. Maybe there was an interesting take on (spoiler alert) what is to me like a spin off from Batman series/world, which I didn't know how much of it there was at first. Story wasn't as action packed as other superhero comics I've read but I suspended all expectations. I feel accomplished for ...more
Jesse A
Well...that was...interesting. Extra star for the artwork.
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
A classic obscure DC character gets a Vertigo revamp. Of course, this was a bit before DC had come up with the Vertigo imprint, but there were a few titles already off in their own dark little corner from the rest of the DCU proper.
Here, the Black Orchid, a crime fighter so mysterious that readers had heretofore never learned her true origin, identity, nor the full extent of her powers, is completely changed into an entirely different kind of comic book character.
At the start, it feels much li
If I had to sum up Black Orchid in one word, I would choose bittersweet.

The unconventional storyline is innovative, as is the character of the second Black Orchid. Initially, the introduction made me think I would be disappointed in an ambiguous ending, but I actually found it hopeful, and the deviation from the norm is refreshing. The overarching message is really to break the cycle of violence.

A few other things of note:

- I really love all of the Frank Sinatra lyrics and references made throug
One of the few Gaiman/McKean works that I haven't read; I was eager to read this graphic novel. It was a pretty good read. It is an unusual comic book and deals with some more serious issues than the basic good vs. evil.

This comic takes place in Gotham City and in the first few scenes we get to watch as the super-hero Black Orchid is captured and killed. The rest of the story follows her flower sisters as they deal with the fall-out from Black Orchid's action and try to find a place for themselv
David Schaafsma
I was prepared not to like this, as I happened to see a reviewer I immensely respect, Sam Quixote, give it two stars (though I also know he dislikes Gaiman, and Gaiman's mentor Alan Moore, though does seem to like another superstar compadre of sorts, Grant Morrison). I see this book, which I had never read, as part of the whole rethinking comics project I associate with Moore in Watchmen, Millers' Dark Knight, and part of this opportunity many took to rethink earlier comic heroes like Moore with ...more
Tre volte capolavoro.
Il terzo lavoro della premiata coppia Gaiman-McKean.
Il capolavoro che ha inaugurato la stagione DC di Gaiman e l'apertura della collana Vertigo.
Ma soprattutto, il capolavoro che portò Gaiman a lavorare a Sandman.

A parte tutto questo, prendendolo anche singolarmente e ignorando tutto, Black Orchid è davvero un gioiellino. Gaiman riesce a inserirsi a modo suo nel mondo dei supereroi DC: siamo in una Gotham City ancora più nera, per la strada s'intravede Lex Luthor, Batman, Jok
Really Neil Gaiman is not the writer for me. I love his ideas, but somehow I get lost in his writting. I loose track of what he wants to say and for me it is all too vague. Everytime I read something of him I have to push myself to keep reading to know the ending.

The artwork was beautifull in this work, that I have to say. Also I am intrigued with the character of Black Orchid. And very happy Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy and Batman appeared, because those are awesom characters.
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Goodreads Librari...: year of publication typo: 214 instead of 2014 3 13 Apr 20, 2015 12:54PM  
Comic books/Graph...: July: Black Orchid 2 5 Aug 01, 2013 10:37AM  
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