At its core, all life as we know it is essentially about balance. The 24hr solar cycle we all count on is just one example; so are the seasons. Even our own human existence shares this quality, and it extends beyond our basic biological nature. However, according Order and Outrage #3 from Dark Horse Comics in order to tip the scales sometimes you must go to extremes.
Order and Outrage #3
Written by: Jim Starlin
Art by: Rags Morales
Colors by: Hailey R. Brown
Lettering by: Michael Heisler
Issue #3 of Order and Outrage begins with Alexis’ pod crash landing on a planet after last issue’s cataclysmic ending. Barely escaping before the pod sinks, she is shocked to discover she is not the only survivor. What stands out during their brief dialogue is despite the destruction they have witnessed, both resume their original mission. While her fellow officer expects help to arrive, Alexis cannot help heeding the call coming from a mysterious Penetralia temple.
The majority of this issue is monologue, from letterer Michael Heisler, of Alexis making sense of all that has occurred. This allows ample room on each panel for artists to construct the narrative. This begins with the first page as Alexis’ fiery pod burns against the backdrop of the Penetralia paradise from artist Rags Morales. Later, once she decides to enter the temple, a luminous blue beacon suddenly appears , bringing light to the darkened temple – and Alexis. Throughout this issue (and series) there is an overwhelming sense of juxtaposition. Where there is darkness, light is not far away. And often what appears chaotic does in fact have a purpose. And what is structured may not be totally sound, as Alexis begins to discover after exiting the temple.
Upon contact with this light an explosion from inside the temple, as Haley R. Brown provides a golden eruption that destroys much of the idyllic setting from page one. Was this supposed to happen? It doesn’t seem like it since a fleet from The Order shows up shortly after. But shouldn’t this fleet be looking for survivors instead of firing missiles? Which side is the Big Bang and which is the Big Bomb?
By limiting much of this issue of Order and Outrage to Alexis’ thoughts, writer Jim Starlin allows the heroine (and readers) an opportunity to question everything they think they know. The schemas that suspend society are believed to keep us from falling into a perilous precipice, but are they just keeping us in place? And who benefits from this placement?
After witnessing the events of Order and Outrage #3, it is hard to escape the feeling that there is a hand at work; in Alexis’ journey and maybe even your own. And if something is unfolding, even if its origin or alliance is unknown, doesn’t it denote some directive. Of course this becomes difficult when you associate it with terms like right and wrong or good and evil; bound by moral ambiguity. As Alexis powerfully displays, Order and Outrage #3 is what can happen when you move beyond folkways.
Beyond being anyone’s b*tch.