OBLIVION SONG #5 by Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
OBLIVION SONG #5 doesn't do much to move the story forward, but it certainly works to further develop every one of the characters. It's definitely worth checking out.
87 %
A Character-Driven Chapter

Since OBLIVION SONG #1, Nathan Cole has been on a seemingly fruitless search for his brother, Ed, in the world of Oblivion. It’s been a consistent driving force in his life. Now, in OBLIVION SONG #5, we finally get our reunion.

I suppose that didn’t take as long as I initially thought it would.

Writer Robert Kirkman and artist Lorenzo De Felici continue their epic tale in OBLIVION SONG #5. A fateful reunion between Nathan and his older brother Ed is the highlight of this issue, but that’s not all that happens. We learn more about the survivors of Oblivion, as well as Duncan and Bridget’s slowly waning relationship.

In fact, OBLIVION SONG #5 heavily revolves around the concept of relationships. Kirkman highlights the brotherly connection between Nathan and Ed and the marital connection Duncan and Bridget, and shows just how fragile such relationships can be.

De Felici’s artwork is as exuberant as ever. OBLIVION SONG #5 features a tense action sequence, as well as some flashy yet pleasant scenery. All together, this issue might have De Felici’s best artwork yet in this series.

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A (Mostly) Pleasant Reunion

OBLIVION SONG #5 picks up right where #4 left off. Nathan is confronted in Oblivion by a team from the long-standing survivor group living in the chaotic dimension. Upon realizing Nathan is Ed’s brother, they take Nathan back to their camp/city.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Duncan and Bridget are still trying to reconcile Duncan’s grief and stress. He finds he’s most comfortable while working. Bridget doesn’t think this is right, and continues to insist he join a group to talk about it. The conversation gets tense and a little concerning, but it doesn’t last long. Shortly after that, the military arrives at the lab to confront Nathan (who, of course, isn’t there).

OBLIVION SONG #5
Courtesy of Image Comics

Back in Oblivion, Nathan finds himself in a fairly well-constructed town for the survivors. The scenery is pleasant and feels lively, despite being what is essentially a shanty town in a hostile environment. Nathan and Ed finally have their reunion. It’s a sweet and tender moment, but it doesn’t last, as the revelation that Nathan has been “saving” people comes to light for Ed.

Ed reveals that the survivors don’t really want to leave Oblivion. Most of their lives are better in Oblivion, and they prefer to stay. Before this conversation goes too far, a flock of monster birds attack the camp, but Ed and his people are more than prepared to deal with the threat. They celebrate with a large bonfire and a feast, made from the spoils of the creatures they killed. All in all, life isn’t too bad for these survivors.

How OBLIVION SONG #5 Deals with Family

If you’ve been following OBLIVION SONG since the start, then you know just how important Ed is to Nathan. Ed is the reason Nathan has been continuously venturing into Oblivion. Whether or not Nathan is willing to admit that is up for questioning, but it’s true, nonetheless.

Kirkman finally reunites these brothers in a very meaningful way in OBLIVION SONG #5. As they greet each other, it’s almost as if they’re just picking up where they left off. We quickly learn a lot about Ed. There have been small details about him since the start of the series, like him owing debts to people, and such details are further explained here. We learn that Ed wasn’t always the best brother to Nathan. Of course, Nathan is very willing to look past all of that now. It all makes for a genuinely passionate moment.

OBLIVION SONG #5
Courtesy of Image Comics

However, as touching as the reunion is, it seems as though the brothers aren’t afraid to rehash old brotherly hostilities towards each other. As I mentioned earlier, Ed gets a little ticked learning Nathan has been “saving” people. Ed views it more as Nathan stealing his people away. Were it not for the flock of monsters breaking up the argument, I could see it escalating into a highly aggressive half-fight.

An Uneasy Marriage

Duncan and Bridget seem to be walking on thin ice, as well. We know from earlier issues that Bridget did, in fact, fall in love with someone else while Duncan was away. Now that Duncan is back, though, Bridget has gone back to him, thinking it’s the right thing to do. However, with Duncan being so uneasy and shaky all the time, and seemingly not providing a solid connection with his wife, I think it’s only a matter of time before Bridget turns away from him again.

The important point to take away from OBLIVION SONG #5 is that, even though all of the characters have such important connections and relationships in their lives, these bonds are fragile. There is baggage linked to all of them that threatens to undo everything the characters are essentially fighting for.

The Peace in Oblivion

Lorenzo De Felici continues his stellar work in OBLIVION SONG #5. His depiction of the alien dimension continues to amaze me. This issue features some of his cleanest character drawings yet, which I tend to find more enjoyable than his more manic depictions. There is worth to the sometimes-off-putting character designs; they fit with the overall tone of OBLIVION SONG. However, the ones featured in this issue still stand out as the strongest.

I’m a huge fan of De Felici’s Oblivion drawings in OBLIVION SONG #5. Every issue, I find more and more ways to be amazed by the scenery. De Felici is always introducing some new element to the monstrous world, issue by issue.

OBLIVION SONG #5
Courtesy of Image Comics

In this issue, De Felici depicts a cleverly-placed shanty town in the shadow of a sort of cliffside in Oblivion. This town, of course, houses the survivors of Oblivion. We see that it’s not really some run-down settlement. Rather, it’s a fully-functioning home for these people. It’s full of life and excitement. The gorgeous backdrop of Oblivion itself only adds to the peacefulness of this place. De Felici even includes a clever panel of Nathan possibly admiring the place.

De Felici’s style doesn’t seem to change terribly much, issue to issue. Still, he certainly keeps finding ways to surprise me, and I hope he keeps doing so moving forward. I’m always in the mood for a new monster, so, hopefully, we can get one sooner rather than later.

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What Comes Next?

As OBLIVION SONG #5 closes, we’re left with a lot to consider. In some ways, we really have to question Nathan’s character. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll say that he’s been keeping a very big secret, one that will certainly impact the story heavily moving forward.

Nathan really is an oddball. On the surface, he does seem like a guy trying to do what’s right. That’s undermined by some deeply rooted selfishness, though. He’s not totally clean, as no character should be. That’s what makes great characters great. Nathan is no different. I love the way Kirkman is handling him, as well as all the other characters.

I’m also a huge fan of how De Felici draws them all. I’m a fan of just about everything De Felici has given us thus far. His style is consistent, for the most part, and he’s always finding new things to add to the story. It’s not a perfect style, but for a story like OBLIVION SONG, it shouldn’t be.

OBLIVION SONG #5 doesn’t move the story along incredibly much, but it’s certainly going to be important moving forward. You won’t want to miss this issue.

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