Sunday, August 7, 2016
Oblivion #1 Review and *SPOILERS*
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Publisher: Action Labs: Danger Zone
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
For anyone who doesn't know, Oblivion isn't something that just came out....... Oh no, no, no. You see back in the wheelin' and dealin' age of Blockbusters and Westcoast Videos, Oblivion was a space western that Full Moon Entertainment fans came to depend on to get their sci-fi fix. Yeah, that description is a little over the top, but I personally really depended on Full Moon to keep coming out with flicks because at that time movie theaters really started cracking down on you being old enough to see an R rated flick, but the good, apathetic folks at the video store didn't give a shit if you wouldn't be able to shave for another eight years or not. As long as you had a card to their store you could rent whatever you like........... maybe the nudie section was out, but besides that, it was a young filmophile's paradise. What does all of this mean for Oblivion? Well, it was a far out outer-space western that hit the shelves and my TV screen years before Firefly came about......... and also, it was a lot of fun for how simple it was. Now that we've got a comic version of this series we can pick up where we left off in Oblivion 2: Backlash and find out the fate of the town and the Derconium mine that seems to bring in the shadiest characters in the Galaxy........ who all seem to be related to the original flick's bad guy Red Eye, but nonetheless, Sheriff Zack Stone continues to man his post and is making sure that the good (terrible) people of Oblivion are taken care of. Let's jump into this issue and see what the series is going to look like and who from Red Eye's family comes a callin'. Let's check it out.
As soon as we jump into this issue I realize that this story and probably the series is going to be standard fare for anyone who watched Oblivion or Oblivion 2: Backlash because the same old tropes that made the film series fun are there right away and of course our story starts out with Red Eye's daughter coming to Oblivion to lay claim to her dead father's secret Derconium treasure....... and in case you don't know, Derconium is the most precious material in the Universe. While Red Eye's daughter: Lyz Azorr tries to gather a posse to find this hidden moola, we go throughout the town and get reintroduced to our main players of the movies and now this book and while it was nice seeing everyone for the first time in twenty years, I have to say that even for a licensed property, this seems ridiculously hard for new readers to get into because while I know a bit about Oblivion, I found myself a little lost about whether I should know a character and his quirks or not. I mean, we get the main things out of the way, like Sheriff Stone not liking to kill people because he's an empath, we saw Stell being a cyborg deputy like she is and my favorite joke in the series is presented with the funeral director, Mr. Gaunt always being around when someone dies....... and because of this the town is terrified of him. It's all there, I just don't know if people are really going to be able to come into this fresh and walk away with the right idea about what this series is.
So yeah, after we're introduced to everyone and Lyz Azorr tries to gather a group to help her, our story really picks up and shows what it's going to be about............ and that's the protection of this young lizard woman because what she didn't know coming to this planet is that everyone hates Red Eye and his brother Jagger and if anyone is going to get that treasure it's not going to be anyone from that family line. It looks like the treasure hunt is going to have to be put on hold because this story becomes all about Sheriff Zack Stone trying to keep Lyz alive, while the rest of his friends show up to lend a hand.
In the end, we get some more characters showing up, like a group of bounty hunters........... who I found myself wondering if I should know or not simply because they seemed to be doing something that felt like I should know and understand, but after the whole bit I just found myself scratching my head at what the fuck was going on with this lizard unicorn looking mother fucker. Anyway, as our issue closes we actually start to care about Red Eye's daughter, who never knew her parents or the evil that they were....... and I'm leaning towards the former girlfriend of Red Eye and S&M loving Lash as her mother due to her reaction in this issue, but Lyz seems to only want the treasure as a means to escape her fate of being whipped and forced into prostitution........ So yeah, you kind of want to root for this character and you're all about the heroes of Oblivion helping her out on her quest.
That's it for this issue of Oblivion and even though I enjoyed the tone of the book matching that of the film series, I find that we were just dropped into this series with the creators hoping that everyone knew what was what and because of that I really don't see a lot of new Oblivion fans coming out of this. Yeah, you kind of count on old fans being into a licensed property, but even with that and my love for Full Moon flicks, I don't remember a whole lot of people talking about their love for this space western when it came out or even still talking about it today, so just being someone who hopes this title succeeds, I would like to see a decent balance between fan service and background so new people can love this world as well. With all that though, I thought the characters and the situations presented here were spot on for what I expected going in and I thought that the art depicting them was great as well. With this series being over twenty years old though and also being kind of obscure, I would have liked just a little more explanations about what's going on in this strange, strange world if not only for new readers, but to also give me a decent reminder.
Bits and Pieces:
While fans of the Oblivion film series should be able to jump into this comic world with little to no effort, it really doesn't feel designed to bring in new readers and that's a shame because we've got established characters with backstories, but you don't get enough out of this to truly understand what's going on in this property if it happens to be a first time experience. The art though was decent and the fan service was spot on for this twenty year old series.