Ten years ago, 300,000 people disappeared into the world of Oblivion. Nathan Cole is determined to save as many as he can, but ever since he lost government funding he’s been facing the terrors of Oblivion largely on his own. After being denied help one last time, Nathan makes another desperate attempt to locate survivors…only this time, he’s being watched.
Robert Kirkman wisely opened up Oblivion Song ten years after the Transference, the event that saw 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia suddenly and inexplicably transported to Oblivion. He somehow crammed a ton of character development and action into a single issue, and left the bulk of the world-building exposition for this second issue.
Whereas chapter one was all about relationships between characters, government response, and the emotional fallout from the Transference, Oblivion Song #2 gets into the nuts and bolts of what actually happened, who Nathan Cole is, and why he’s so obsessed with rescuing potential survivors. Having Nathan guide his newest rescues through a museum dedicated to the event is a brilliant way to deliver exposition without pounding the reader over the head with it. It slows the pace way down from chapter one, but this is information we’ll need going forward.
I’m loving Lorenzo De Felici’s monster designs. This issue features a creature that somewhat resembles a tardigrade, if water bears were 300 feet tall, as long as a city block, and had three massive sets of tusks. Felici’s characters are very expressive, both through facial cues and body language. There are a couple reveals in this chapter where it’s impossible not to empathize with the survivors, just by watching their reactions to reliving the horror that sent them off to Oblivion.
Kirkman continues peeling back layers in this incredibly complex story. First, we had this guy in a spacesuit hunting down survivors in the Oblivion. Now, we’ve learned specifics about the horror that took place and some of the heroes that emerged from tragedy. For as many answers are served up here, more questions beg asking. The whole thing reeks of conspiracy.
Oblivion Song #2, published by Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics, released 11 April 2018. Written by Robert Kirkman, art by Lorenzo De Felici, color by Annalisa Leoni.