Tom Morello is a guitar-wielding vigilante – a guilty party – a tried and true folk hero. He is the personification of the seemingly contradictory – a consistent political voice. His charged social consciousness is steadfast, a true north. His politics have always been his politics – as unwavering, as unrelenting, as punishing today as the syncopated shot-heard-round-the-world opening chords of “Bombtrack” twenty years ago. He uses music as the assault rifle, as the grenade – art as a tactical means of political combat.
Dependably true to form, Tom Morello has brought that political consciousness to his latest medium. Last week saw the publication of the ninth installment in his comic book series, Orchid. Over a year ago, Morello teamed up with Dark Horse Comics and the artist, Scott Hepburn to continue the crusade against injustice with the creation of a dystopian fantasy saga. Helmed by a 16-year old protagonist, Orchid chronicles the brutalities of true class warfare set in a landscape littered with epic battles versus new species of free-roaming, predatory beasts. Imagine Star Wars phantasm meets Lord of the Rings urgency meets RATM’s Evil Empire.
In a stupendously appropriate match-up, artist, Shepard Fairey contributed a variant cover for the series’ premiere issue last October.
To further up the ante, Morello is also scoring every edition of Orchid. The purchase of each issue includes a free song. As he relayed to Rolling Stone Magazine, “When you buy the comic book you’re going to get a free song, which is the musical score for that issue. Over the 12-issue arch of the story, there will be 12 musical pieces that make a complete musical score for it.”
Orchid # 9, as well as all back issues, are available now at Dark Horse Comics and your local comic shop.
Here are some of the amazing Orchid covers thus far.