I remember picking up Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead some 14 years ago and being blown away by the development of such a character-rich zombie story. Battle Pope and Invincible, Kirkman’s two other most popular comics, also carried much of that same love with the beginnings of their long storylines. In a message stashed in the back of Kirkman’s new release, Oblivion Song, he writes about the excitement of launching a new series, and how this one has been a decade in the making. That excitement comes off the page, and you can always feel the energy put into those first few scenes in his stories. How could I not go out to purchase the first issue of his next big series?
If you follow Kirkman on any social media platform, then you know full well how excited he is for the release of Oblivion Song. The weeks leading up to this week’s release have been full of anticipation, and the posters hanging in my local comic shop have gotten me amped up. Finally, I got my copy- and an extra for my nephew who celebrates the birth of his son this week. I couldn’t be more excited to begin a fresh adventure with Kirkman and meet the fantastic characters that he is so well known for.
“A decade ago, 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion,” reads the official breakdown on Image Comics website. “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?”
It all starts the way you hope it would with the same energy into imagery and action that we came to love from the beginning of Kirkman’s other books I mentioned above. The apocalyptic world of Oblivion is full of mystery that you know will take dozens upon dozens of issues to get into. With the rest of the world in seemingly good order, it leaves so many questions that will drive this series for years to come.
In one quick issue, Kirkman has managed to build a complex character in Nathan Cole. With a limited amount of dialogue, Cole is already a well-rounded, deep player in the story. He has purpose, and we already know what drives him forward- and why he will never stop. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast and the world in this book are dealing with their own struggles of how Oblivion affects them.
It is no surprise why Kirkman pulled Italian artist Lorenzo De Felici out of obscurity to work alongside him on this title. There is an imagery that is necessary to the plot, and De Felici fits that bar perfectly. There is an ominous structure in his artwork while moving the story at a quick pace. I am excited to see more.
All in all, it is an excellent start to a story that Kirkman promises will grow beyond what you could possibly guess. There is a lot to be discovered in this series already and questions I need answers to immediately. There is one thing that I have always appreciated about Kirkman’s work. He is a geek, he writes like a geek, he creates stories for geeks, he is making books that he would want to read. Oblivion Song is worth starting a new journey with, and I cannot wait to read issue 2, or 13, or 30.
This is the beginning of a beautiful song.