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Comic Book Review: Oblivion Song #1

Oblivion Song #1
Image Comics

Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Lorenzo De Felici
Colours by: Annalisa Leoni
Letters by: Rus Wooton

As Invincible finishes it’s amazing fifteen year run, writer and co-creator Robert Kirkman turns his sights to a new book featuring a desolated community trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic Philadelphia, trapped in the hellscape of the ‘Oblivion’.

A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were affected by an event known as “The Transference,” in which another dimension somehow took over the area, unleashing freakish monsters and creatures upon the population. Somehow the government managed to contain the area and set up a rescue mission to retrieve any survivors, but after years of searching, they’ve given up hope. Nathan Cole refuses to accept their decision and risks his life each day by venturing into the Oblivion to try and rescue any individuals, hoping he’ll find his long lost brother Ed along the way. He’s backed up by friends and team members Duncan and Bridget, but with a lack of budget and un-reliable equipment, can the team carry on with their dangerous rescues?

Oblivion Song #1 is just so well written, Kirkman manages to juggle world building with seamless narration as we explore both the Oblivion and what’s happening outside of the city without exposition overload. We slowly discover what happened to Philadelphia organically and without a character narrating events to us which I appreciate! We’re also introduced to some really interesting characters; firstly Nathan who’s obsessed with his cause as he doesn’t want people to forget and abandon the survivors. We see him deface the public monument, scratching out the names of the people he’s rescued to try and keep his mission alive. He risks his life every time he goes into Oblivion, but some characters hint that he’s motivated by personal gains rather than heroics. Then there’s Nathan’s associate Dave, who seems to be suffering from PTSD following his time in Oblivion, and snaps at the mention of the Oblivion song.

The art in this issue personally took quite a while to get use to, as Lorenzo De Felici has a very distinct style. At times the characters were drawn with over exaggerated features, especially the wrinkles on Nathan’s face. But you could tell how much fun De Felici had while
creating all of the different creatures and environment of Oblivion! The whole place had a very unique look and felt like it was oozing and bubbling with that slimy goop that covered everything. The whole place was so colourful and I particularly loved the combination of greens and purples that Annalisa Leoni used to give the environment a sickly feel.

Oblivion Song #1 is a very promising start to a really intriguing story, especially following the revelation at the end of the issue. The first book sets up this new World so well and I’m really looking forward to diving into Oblivion more and unravelling the mystery of the Transference, as I feel we’ve only scratched the surface.

Rating: 8 out of 10