Space Shuttle Venture disappeared from Earth's orbit 10 years
ago taking a crew of seven with it. This final NASA disaster
committed the Earth to programmes of robotic discovery flight
only - no human has been in space for a decade. However the
Venture has come back to Earth 10 years late. It's remaining
crewman - an insane pilot - and instrumentation that wasn't
on the shuttle when it lifted off. So, what happened to the
Venture's crew, where did the shuttle go, and what does all
this now mean for an Earth that's given up hope of walking
amongst the stars?...
has a Star Trek: the Motion Picture feel about it.
Man sends out shuttle, which is then taken control of by something
alien (in this case the shuttle is covered in some form of
artwork is beautiful and the story is engaging, but it did
seem a little rushed towards the end - I actually turned the
last page expecting the story to continue, but it didn't.
Ellis's foreword hints that Orbiter may have been rushed
to get it on to the shelves after the space shuttle Colombia
disintegrated on re-entering Earth's orbit - effectively stopping
NASA's manned flight space programme.
conclusion screams for a follow up story. I guess this was
the intention, but I am left wondering whether this was really
clever writing on Ellis's part or the need to complete this
story as soon as possible - although he claims he completed
the story a couple of months before the Colombia disaster,
there is a huge question mark hanging over this revelation.
critics have championed this graphic novel's almost prophetic
qualities. I'm not so impressed - for goodness sake it's by
far the most hazardous form of transport and every generation
has witnessed at least a couple of terrible accidents. Ellis
was just fortunate (or not as the case may be) that his story
may sell on the back of being topical.
it is a damn good read and yes it is beautifully presented,
but it is not one of Ellis's better works.
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