Sylvian Runberg solves the problems of romantic science fiction and space opera with disarming ease, making it all look easy and natural. The wide reaches of space, the romance of the starts and the pull of the future are all present, nicely enmeshed in entirely believable bureaucratic complications and institutional, racial and personal politics. Alien races and humans do not just mingle at elevated planetary levels, they are also co-workers drinking in a bar working to take advantage of an unexpected situation. This gives the story a great context and detailed weight against which the plot can take place. The plot is suitably grand, the threads are pulled from different planets and have to be countered with a great science fiction solution.
The two leads, Caleb and Mezoke work together under increasing pressure from their own private histories and still striving to be professional. The supporting cast, including the smaller walk-on parts are all given an opportunity to shine.
Serge Pelle's art is a consistent joy, it is detailed and creates a solid physical environment that enables the story to fly. From the mangrove swamps to space, the cast get to inhabit a environment which gives their actions context and force. The cast themselves are varied, and full of motion and life. The body language and the physical movements are assured and natural, they interact with each other and their context wonderfully.
Orbital is the real deal, science fiction that takes the unlimited budget of comics and uses it with care, craft and tremendous precision. Not to be missed.