Oblivion Song #1

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Illustrator: Lorenzo de Felici
Colorist: Annalisa Leoni
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Skybound (Image Comics)

Review by Anelise Farris

When I first heard that Robert Kirkman was behind a new series, I did a little (or perhaps not so little) happy dance. Could it be more zombies like The Walking Dead or demons like Outcast? No, not exactly. Oblivion Song #1 is—as Kirkman is famous for—a post-apocalyptic narrative, but it is a totally fresh take on a familiar genre.

In Oblivion Song #1 we learn that ten years ago a whole lot of Philadelphians disappeared in an event called Oblivion. After spending a few years of trying to recover the lost citizens, the government deemed it a lost cause—urging everyone to move on. Our central character Nathan Cole and his small team just can’t accept that though.

Despite being denied funding, Nathan continues to visit the city, searching for survivors—like Thomas and Patricia Crenshaw that we meet in this first issue. But, as the issue concludes, we learn that not everyone wants to be saved. And, if that isn’t enough to interest you, Nathan is a complex character. Oblivion Song #1 makes you wonder: is Nathan acting merely out of good will, the unresolved tension between him and his lost brother, or is something else calling Nathan to this hellish place?

A large portion of Oblivion Song #1 is composed of wordless panels, and this was a brilliant decision on the part of the creative team. Rather than being heavy or dense with exposition, the details are revealed carefully and the dialogue is sparse but effecting and so well executed. The comic moves along at a fast pace, and I was invested in each and every panel. The thick-lines, dark muted colors, and semi-cartoonish style is a smart choice for a story with otherworldy monsters and real-world impact.

Verdict: Buy it.

Do I know what caused Oblivion? No. And at this point I don’t care. That’s how good Oblivion Song #1 is. With a gorgeous setting and strong characters, I’m confident that this creative team knows exactly what it’s doing.

Anelise Farris
I'm a doctor that specializes in folklore and mythology, speculative fiction, and disability studies. Basically, I'm a professional geek. When not researching or teaching, I read; I write; I yoga; I travel; I play with my fur babies; and, I watch way too many (if that's a thing) horror movies.

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