Image Comics | Skybound
(w) Robert Kirkman (a) Lorenzo De Felici (c) Annalisa Leoni
The atest comic from Robert Kirkman, Oblivion Song #1, has arrived with much fanfare and anticipation, and why shouldn’t it? Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, Invincible, and Outcast is as bankable a name as their is in the industry. His comics can fetch a nice price in secondary markets, which has speculators salivating over the release of this series – especially with its potential to be adapted into a television series or movie. But for the noise and the potential dollar signs to have any merit, the book itself has to be good, and Oblivion Song #1 is good. Really fucking good.
The first thing readers will notice immediately is the artwork. Unless you’ve picked up the few variant covers he’s done for Birthright, Invincible, or Gasolina, this will be most readers’ first exposure to Lorenzo De Felici. It is the perfect blend of cartoonish and gritty to make the title appealing to a wide range of readers. Though his backgrounds can be sparse at times, for the most part Felici packs each panel full of little details that enhance each sequence.
Part of Oblivion Song takes place in a post-apocalyptic hellscape populated by a few humans trying to survive and a whole lot of monsters. Felici’s designs are wonderfully hideous, and those willing to read some of the back-matter are treated to his creation process, which includes monster considerations us lay-folk wouldn’t normally think of. But it isn’t just monsters and landscapes, as Oblivion Song presents readers with a strong new protagonist, Nathan Cole.
Nathan is the leader of a team with a mission to rescue people who were mysteriously transported to the alternate dimension of Oblivion. It’s a dangerous job, but with each person Nathan rescues he comes one step closer to finding his brother, who is among the missing. It is what drives him, and this motivation is clear to everyone. This is where the true strength of Kirkman’s writing lays. While the world-building and setup is great, it is the character development which is the real selling point for this book, just as it was in The Walking Dead and Invincible.
The design for Nathan, inside the aforementioned hellscape, maintains a traditional superhero silhouette. And given the monsters he must fight off, the book reads like a perfect blend of Kirkman’s greatest hits. That’s not at all a bad thing, as it makes for one hell of an enjoyable experience. Oblivion Song #1 had high expectations, and the creative team clears that hurdle with ease.