(w) Robert Kirkman (a) Lorenzo de Felici
Since the latest trailer for next year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters dropped this week, people (including yours truly) have been craving more monster goodness. Thankfully, the latest chapter in Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo de Felici’s Oblivion Song has arrived to give readers a healthy dose of monster mayhem. In fact, much of the issue is action based, with little of what could be thought of as “traditional” character development. However, the creative team does just enough to keep pushing the narrative forward to make this issue more than a 20-page action sequence.
Perhaps the strongest asset that Oblivion Song has going for it is it’s ability to capitalize on the zeitgeist of today’s pop culture. Nostalgia has fueled the popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things, while films such as Pacific Rim, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla have made giant monsters a bankable concept. It’s easy to see elements of all of these within Oblivion Song, remixed in a manner that is, for the most part, refreshing.
In the wake of the previous issue, Nathan Cole and his brother, Edward, are forced to deal with the aftermath of bringing monsters from the Oblivion dimension into our world, and while simultaneously being transported over. Thankfully, a recap page is included to catch readers up (quick aside, recap pages are severely underrated). The Macguffin which brought them over appears to be damaged, leading to a less-than-brotherly fight between the two. This results in a conflict which will take over the bulk of the issue, allowing de Felici to showcase his strengths, but also exposing his weaknesses.
When it comes to fight choreography, de Felici does a wonderful job in giving each punch, tumble, and roll a sense physicality. Readers can feel each blow as it impacts Nate or Edward. Little details, including “battle damage,” give authenticity to their scrape. Unlike most superhero throwdowns, bruises and swelling take hold in real time. However, the brothers suffer from “same face” syndrome, making it very difficult for readers to differentiate between the two.
The monster designs are also fantastic. They certainly have an otherworldly look to them which is captivating to look at, but at the same time repulsive. Their designs make their movements unpredictable, and to an extent unnerving. As unnerving as it may be, there is also a dance-like rhythm to their movements, which only adds to the creepiness.
Because so much of the issue is dedicated to the Cole Brothers’ extra-dimensional wrestling match, there is very little to advance the plot. While the events of the previous issue have set a new predicament for the worlds Kirkman and de Felici have created, there is little to indicate if this is something to be resolved before the end of the arc or the beginnings of a new status quo. Whichever direction it ends up being, it would have been nice to see this matter further explored here.
Oblivion Song continues to be a fun, imaginative escape. The creative team may be slow-playing their hand a little too much, but readers can take solace in that there are clearly long-term plans for this title. And as far as big, ugly monsters causing mayhem, this certainly delivers. As wild as this book has been, I get the feeling that the real fun is about to begin.