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Hong Kong action movies homaged in eclectic Orphan & The Five Beasts

Orphan and the Five Beasts #1
(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))

Eclectic writer/artist James Stokoe returns to the world of creator-owned comics this year with an all-new series titled Orphan and the Five Beasts. Published by Dark Horse Comics, this four-issue series pays homage to classic Hong Kong action films.

Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))

"If there's one consistent thing more than any other that's been an influence on my work throughout the years, it has to be the incredible worlds and adventure stories found in classic Hong Kong action films," Stokoe said in the book's announcement. 

"With Orphan and the Five Beasts, I'm looking to bring that love forward in a new fantasy comic that pays homage to the great films that have given me so much joy in life, while hopefully bringing something unique to the shelves."

The book stars Orphan Mo, a young girl who was adopted by a dying warrior master. She grew up under the tutelage of this master until his final breaths - but those breaths included a dying request - track down five former disciples who have used his training for evil.

Spurred on by her master's dying words, the adopted warrior "Orphan Mo" seeks to find and kill five former disciples who now threaten the land with corruption from their demonic powers. 

Here's a preview of the first issue:

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Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))

Orphan and the Five Beasts #1 preview

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Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))
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Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))
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Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))
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Orphan and the Five Beasts #1

(Image credit: James Stokoe (Dark Horse Comics))

"Part Five Deadly Venoms and part surreal grindhouse, James Stokoe brings his knack for ultra-detailed fantasy and over-the-top violence to this classic tale of revenge," reads Dark Horse's description of Orphan and the Five Beasts.

Orphan and the Five Beasts #1 (of 4) goes on sale March 17, and a collected edition of Orphan and the Five Beasts is already available for pre-order with an October 26 release date.

Orphan and the Five Beasts will be available in comic shops, bookstores, and on digital platforms. For the best digital comics experience, check out Newsarama's list of the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)