OBLIVION SONG #3 / Writer: Robert Kirkman / Artist: Lorenzo De Felici / Colorist: Annalisa Leoni / Letterer: Rus Wooton / Publisher: Image Comics / Release Date: May 9th, 2018
Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici’s Oblivion Song is only three issues in, but this world is rapidly growing and there’s a good amount of mystery surrounding it as well. In this world, over 300,000 people were taken into the world known as Oblivion. A nasty place where hideous, brutal creatures exist and where a bevy of humans have died.
Nathan Cole lost his brother, Ed, to Oblivion and in this story, we see a man weighed down by his guilt. Issue 3 inches us farther down the rabbit hole as we learn more about what Oblivion is, and what it has done to people. There’s a fair amount of commentary in this comic on PTSD victims and how we should treat them. Oblivion Song #3 shows us how people deal with this catastrophe differently, and is a great issue that hooks you in because of those themes.
The last issue saw the main character, Nathan Cole, in a bit of a predicament. Once again, the scientist/soldier/activist found himself in Oblivion and this time he met another person. This part of the issue resonates because those themes of dealing with victims started here.
Nathan and the stranger have a short conversation about leaving the city. The city is all this man knows; and no matter if there’s monsters or aliens here, he’s going to fight for his right to live. Nathan has a hard time understanding that, so the two of them don’t see eye to eye.
An important thing Kirkman wants the audience to notice in this comic is the importance of the real world. Yes, Oblivion is a real place and a place we want to see and know more about; but the effects it has had on the real world are just as real. Kirkman continues to hammer this home when Nathan talks with Heather, Bridgette, and Duncan.
Heather and Nathan seemed to have been romantically involved, but his obsession with Oblivion is tearing them apart. Duncan, a fellow scientist, used to be in Oblivion, but Nathan got him out. Each person continues to try and get through to Nathan, telling him that this isn’t his cross to bear. Sometimes, people just need to be left alone.
Nathan continues to learn his lesson about dealing with victims when he meets with a woman who was trapped in Oblivion. He ends up asking her if being there was harder than being back, and she looks at him likes he’s crazy. Once again, this issue highlights individual experiences and perspectives, how different characters react to different situations. Everyone’s fighting a battle, but Nathan seems to think his mindset is the right one. I like seeing characters grow and evolve, and Nathan seems to be evolving with every issue.
There’s a sense of uneasiness in this comic, and De Felici deserves credit for that. Hardly anyone in this comic smiles. I mean, I don’t blame them, but the art clearly reflects the somber reality of Oblivion Song. The transference changed Earth forever, and everyone is dealing with it in their own way. Colorist Annalisa Leoni does a great job adding to the depressing mood with the colors. Doesn’t matter if it’s Oblivion, or the “real” world, everything has an emotional heaviness because of the colors. The scene where Nathan talks to Heather was doused in shadows and dark blues. De Felici’s pencils and Leoni’s colors make for an incredibly emotional scene where the pain in both of their faces almost jumps out of the page.
The same can be said for how Duncan is drawn and colored too. We haven’t seen what he went through during his time in Oblivion, but he is changed forever. In issue 1, he talked about the Oblivion Song, and how it was one of the most beautiful, serene things he had ever heard. But at the same time, he wants nothing to do with that place, because it’s made him a shell of himself. He is no longer human in a way; and now that he’s back, he’s not sure he can ever recover that humanity. You get all that and more in this issue simply from the art, and that’s the sign of a great comic.
The end of this comic only increases my interest in this story. There’s still so much we don’t know. What is Oblivion really? How many people are still alive? What role does Ed play in all this?
Kirkman is no rookie when it comes to crafting new worlds, but De Felici and Leoni’s art helps this comic stand out. Oblivion Song #3 is no different than the two before it. It’s filled with sadness, darkness, and intrigue. I have no doubt that this world will continue to grow. I just hope that Nathan, and all the other characters involved, get the closure and answers that they’re desperately searching for.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
“His name is Toren Chenault but he goes by Raymond X. He’s currently a student attending Michigan State University from where he will graduate this spring. He loves all things nerd culture from television to comics and his favorite heroes are Daredevil, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Nighthawk, and Captain Atom. Toren is a writer as well, and his debut superhero novel, Mystic Man, will be released this year.