Orphan Black: Helsinki #1

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OBHelsinki01-coverWhen Rachel Duncan muttered the word “Helsinki” on the most recent season of Orphan Black, fans sat up and took notice. There was definite concern in the eyes of all involved with The Dyad Institute. In a short sequence of events in the Rachel issue of the Orphan Black comic, we got to meet a young woman, who after a massive fire became known mostly as the “Helsinki Incident.” Burned on part of her face in the fire, Veera was given skin grafts but still deals with her scars. After years of living under the watchful eye of her Uncle Matt, the girl discovers that her Uncle has been digitally monitoring her every step of the way. When Veera confronts him, he acts as if she is crazy. Veera reverse reviews Uncle Matt’s recent internet views and discovers he has also been watching other girls. When he cuts the power to end her research, Veera flees her home and goes to a local high school to find one of the other girls to warn her she may also be under Uncle Matt’s surveillance. Veera quickly learns that she looks very similar to the girl she has come to warn.

Readers who enjoy the world of Orphan Black will likely find the world of Helsinki a bit jarring. Though set in the same universe, these are not the characters we have come to know over several seasons. This is one of the key things that makes Orphan Black: Helsinki #1 important; the comic opens readers to a world so much larger than the television show has had the budget to represent. Suddenly, we discover one of the girls Rachel played with as a child. We see what it was like for one of the girls to live life home schooled and away, rather than matriculated like the rest of those studied by the Leda project.

I deeply enjoyed Veera’s story and look forward to the next issue in the mini-series. The writing staff of John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Heli Kennedy and Denton J. Tipton seem to be greatly enjoying themselves. As an Orphan Black fan, I feel great things are comic from this series.

Orphan Black: Helsinki #1 is available Wednesday November 18, 2016 from IDW Comics.

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