A horrific event has taken 300,000 people from Philadelphia and thrust them into a savage dimension where they are hunted by unimaginable monsters. Some have been rescued by people from the regular world, but it’s a difficult, dangerous process. 10 years later, most people back on Earth have moved one, but one man, Nathan Cole, can’t. He’s obsessed with going back to Oblivion and bringing people back, risking his own life and opening a deeper mystery.
That’s the premise of Oblivion Song, a new monthly comic co created by Robert Kirkman, and Italian artist Lorenzo de Felici, with colors by Annalisa Leoni. The ongoing series debuts in March.
As you might guess from this synopsis, Oblivion Song deals with survival and danger, themes you might know from Kirkman’s other book, The Walking Dead. But the new book is the OTHER side of tragedy –what happens when people forget and move on.
“No matter how horrific something is that happens, it doesn’t take too many years to just go back to normal and forget about it,” said Kirkman at a press conference on Wednesday morning prior to New York Comic-Con. “The main character is the only one very invested in it and still trying to rescue people. Others are like, can’t we just forget that crater in the middle of the town? Inside the dimension of Oblivion we are going to meet more and more people who have been living there for a while and find out how they survived.” While there will be lots of monsters, the one thing Kirkman is avoiding is Zombies. “I want to avoid things I did in Walking Dead, but hopefully there will be the same cool story dynamics.”
De Felici is an Italian artist Kirkman discovered via a suggestion from Cory Walker. When contacted by Kirkman to work on a book, de Felici thought someone was pulling a prank on him, but he’s ramped up to monthly speed. He and Leoni has worked hard to create a very alien world for Oblivion Song, including a very striking approach to color that everyone who has seen the book has noted. We hope to have more on the duo’s approach to that in a process piece here at the Beat because it’s fascinating.
Of the book’s origin, Kirkman said he had the idea rumbling around in his head for 10 years. “I was reflecting on the fact that Kirby had never done a run on Batman. How weird would it be? What would Jack Kirby do with Batman. Ad then over the course of 10 years it evolved into other dimensions and this guy with a cape. The idea is so strange, and so completely unlike what we have come up with before.”
Kirkman, de Felici, and Leoni appeared at a press conference with Skybound editor Sean Mackiewicz and Image publisher Eric Stephenson. It was a fairly elaborate affair to announce a new comic book, but an effective one, although not too many creators besides Kirkman could pull it off. (However Image is having more press conferences throughout NYCC, so it could be a trend.) Stephenson noted that Kirkman liked to try new things and this was a different approach than just a panel and a press release.
The book has a trailer which you can watch above (narrated by Phil Lamarr) and a big preview which you can see below. It’s quite a striking project – with, Kirkman promises, many twists and turns – and given his following it should find a ready audience.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.