Written by Gary Whita
Art by Darick Robertson
Colouring by Diego Rodriguez
Lettering by Simon Bowland
THE DEAL: An orphan raised by clone soldiers on the outskirts of a nuclear wasteland deals with the trials of adolescence … and Armageddon. If Dickens had lived to see the atomic age, this is the story he would have written.
THE GOOD: One word: wow. I’m enthralled by this concept. The art captures the desolation of a post-nuclear apocalypse with the same aesthetic that I saw in my mind as I read Oliver Twist back in the day. It struck me as I flipped through the pages how alike the two worlds really are: the desperation and fear, the loss of identity, the despondence, the sheer grit required to make it through another day of hell – it’s all there. By the time I reached the end, I had come to the realization that we really don’t give the people of the Industrial Revolution enough credit just for surviving, nor do we consider how much we might have in common with them if things took a dangerous turn.
Add to all of that the mystery at the heart of the story: who is Oliver? How can he survive where so many can’t? What do his surrogate fathers know that they’re not saying? There’s so much to build on an already complex foundation. Keep this one on your watch list, folks; it looks promising indeed.
THE BAD: For many, revisiting a nuclear apocalypse is a little overdone, and I get that. My only argument would be that high fantasy has a similar problem, and I’m still consistently surprised by the creativity people have when it comes to re-imagining an old trope. The real challenge for the people making Oliver will be keeping things fresh while still paying homage to the direct Dickensian influence this work will invariably revolve around. There’s no doubt they’ve chosen an ambitious undertaking. Time will tell if they’re up to the challenge.
4 out of 5 stars
You can find Oliver at https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/oliver-1
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.