Oblivion Song Chapter One
Robert Kirkman, writer/creator; Lorenzo De Felici, artist/creator; Annalisa Leoni, colorist
Image-Skybound, 2018

A decade ago 300,000 citizens of the city of Philadelphia (and the 30 square miles they occupied) were abruptly transported to an apocalyptic world that became known as Oblivion. It is a truly hellish place--desolate and occupied by deadly monsters--as we discover in the opening scene. Nathan (the main protagonist) is apparently hunting two humans on the run from a huge monster. We only learn later that the darts he is shooting at them transport them back to Earth, and the history of the Oblivion event itself is also revealed gradually.

There was once a government program that sent teams into Oblivion to rescue the humans. But that has been discontinued, so Nathan has been continuing on his own as a personal crusade. It clearly is very personal, not only because his brother Ed is still among the missing, but also due to a sense of responsibility for the cataclysmic event that is only fully revealed near the end of this arc.

There is also some question about whether the return process is a positive one. Nathan interviews returnees about this, and in the process he learns about a large, organized  group of survivors led by a man named Ed. Could this be his lost brother? After a couple of attempts he manages to contact the group, and finds his brother (who is indeed the leader, a role that his past history did not suggest). Shockingly, the group is not interested in returning to Earth: they have built a life in the wilderness.

Nathan convinces Ed to come back to Earth with him so he can experience the changes since the event and report back to the group. But Nathan is arrested almost immediately. leaving Ed on his own. The series title "Oblivion Song" has a specific meaning. It is a haunting sound in the place that comes from the breeze, distant creature sounds, and insects...Nathan calls it the Oblivion Song.

Most of the flavor of the place comes down to the work of artist Lorenzo De Felici. His previous publications mainly include covers, for Image and Marvel (Spider-Man). His interior work is convincing: he's good at character design and monsters. There is some visual confusion in the monster action scenes (hard to keep things straight with a monster you've never seen before). Colorist Annalisa Leoni does a good job helping to keep all of the settings straight. Definitely interested in seeing where this goes next.

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