Vortex Comics’ Orisha Pikin #4 Spoiler-Free Review

Orisha Pikin is one of the best and most consistent comicbook that Vortex Comics have published in recent months. That’s a great way to start this review, which we will be keeping completely spoiler-free.

Archange Kiyindou (Yamakasi) teams up with Penciller, Nsatounkazi Déo as we witness the return of Charles Oma Betow, the great colorist behind the first and second issues of the comicbook while Franklin Uche took his place on the third issue to bring us the colorful backstory we all hold on to for now.
With Yamakasi still leading as Creator, Writer and Art Director (and also letterer) the consistency of the characters, Sango’s stubbornness is felt in a whole new level and the respect to African culture is yet spilled on the dialogues between characters. At some point, it all looks like Sango’s life and dialogue is unscripted. We blame that part on the fact that the writer understands the characters and no one is forced to play their role in the story. It all still flows and makes sense.
There’s an assuring thing about backstories, especially one meant to help explain current motives or incidents. In a previous post about Orisha Pikin, I talked about a relationship between the characters and Sango’s motive is established with his sister behind him most steps of the way. OP3 took us back to a soft-but-determined Sango with a big dream to rule as Olorun and we finally understand his frustrations and where he was coming from, before the death of Sannkofamaan by the lightening of his (Sango’s) axe. Suddenly, Sango is in prison and Obatala & Oya are visiting him to see what they can do to get him out.
Looking at the story so far, No one is calm anymore; Miss Koi Koi is no ordinary woman and no one goes through bail without stepping up to her. Eshu is nowhere to be found and Oya does not have the guts to walk into Tubu Orun all by herself in the first place. This leaves us with Obatala, Mr White Cloth, Sango’s only rival to the rescue.

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Based on past incidents, Obatala has always helped out but as we go deeper with the characters, Sango continues to refuse his help and persistent in the most difficult situations.
Orisha Pikin’s unique storyline and delivery erases all predictions of how subsequent events in the story will unfold. That, to me, is one of the traits of a good story. We won’t stop reading because we have questions. What would Obatala, the infamous Miss Koi Koi and Oya do? Is Sannkofamaan really dead? Is Jesus and his bodyguards still in class? When will the elders look into this?

The fourth issue brings us back to Tubu Orun where Obatala and Oya are finally ready to confront Miss Koi Koi who clearly doesn’t like demigods and prisoners. She does not only know all the prisoners in Tubu Orun, she has met them and she never forgets anyone. For the first time, we also get to see a new Obatala, a new face!

Worried about you

I had to make this a sub-heading to look like the soundtrack title of a romantic adventure. “…Yes na, I was worried about you” was Oya’s response to Sango’s surprising utterance when Oya came all the way to Tubu orun with Obatala to not only check on him but also bail him out from Miss Koi Koi’s hellhole. The bond between the siblings was further stressed with the flashback at the middle of the same issue when Sango recalled how they had come from Orunville Ghetto with nothing but Thunder stones and Sango’s dream to rule as Olorun someday. The Orishas would finally stop looking down on them – The inequality in a society. Sango hated it. She also would not forget the promise she made to help him achieve his dreams. For these, Oya would finally stand up to the Torturer of Demigods, an Iron Lady like no other, Miss Koi Koi?
What started with Jesus and other spirit beings in a Classroom has grown into a beautiful chaos and if Sango either remains in prison or gets bailed, the real killer needs to be caught and it will take more than an issue to do so.
This is what we get for encouraging Africans and their Culture. This is the Vortex Universe we want to read, talk about and push to other media. This is African, it’s Original and we love it.

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Fast-forwarding to the future where Live Action African comics have a global appeal
See Orisha Pikin #4: Miss Koi Koi Teaser Poster