Review: Oblivion Song #1

A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years, they gave up. Nathan Cole…won’t. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try and rescue those still living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe…Nathan is looking for something else? Why can’t he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?

Oblivion Song is the brand new series from creator Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead and Outcast. To get any new series from him is a big deal as you expect a big hit and some great ideas and concepts. Oblivion Song delivers with a story that while it seems like it focuses on other dimensions/other worlds but is really about the search for a missing brother and experienced trauma.

The first issue introduces us to the world splitting time between the alien Oblivion and the real world of Philadelphia. The story’s heart revolves around the character Nathan searching for survivors as well as his brother. This is a search and rescue mission much like those done post Vietnam to find capture soldiers and return bodies of the fallen to their loved ones. That reflection is evident here not just in actions but Kirkman goes so far to reinforce the parallel with a dark wall etched with the names of those missing. Add in debates about government funding for the project and the duty to return Americans and you have a story that takes a real world experience and uses that as an influence to drive the story and do so for the better.

As I mentioned above, the other part of the story is the trauma of those who have returned from the world of Oblivion. It’s clear this is a focus and something that will be explored more, especially how one integrates back into society after the experience. Much like his other work, Kirkman is focusing on the personal touch and the human aspects of the world he has created.

The art by Lorenzo De Felici and colorist Annalisa Leoni manages to capture the strange duality of this series in a superb manner. We see both worlds and there’s clearly lots of thought into the creatures of the Oblivion, the tech, and also the impact of the event on the real world. Small touches are throughout such as the worn and used look of the equipment Nathan uses down to the clothes he wears. There’s a story for every little bit. The creatures too feel like they’ve been thought out to the point of how they move and survive in this alien world. Every detail matters and here they enhance the story.

There’s a lot of build up to this first issue and it lives up to the hype in every way. It’s a fantastic new series that delivers in experience and characters and there’s no doubt it’ll be a hit and massive seller. The visuals and world building is fantastic, with every detail adding to the experience. But, it’s the heart and experience at the center of it all that’s the driver. We get the sense of loss and trauma from these characters. Their pathos is our draw. There’s clearly a lot of thought put into not just the first issue but the series as a whole and we’re in for an interesting an entertaining ride.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Lorenzo De Felici Color: Annalisa Leoni
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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