In Review: Oberon #2

This fantasy without the sugar coating is delicious. Absolutely recommended.

The cover: The title character gestures to the reader that they should enter the dwelling before them. The structure is a home made from the skull of a giant and it looks amazing. The work done with the eyes and the window that forms its nose is wonderful. The teeth over the doorway make it even more fearsome looking. It seems to go for a quite a distance as lighted candles can be seen within. Oberon looks emotionlessly at the reader, suggesting this is not an offer but a command. Great coloring on this, too, with the browns and tans giving it an ancient fantasy feel, while Oberon stands out in his burgundy colored jacket. Great cover from Milos Slavkovic. Overall grade: A

The story: The wedding of Oberon to Titania opens the issue. The Lady holds a seed before her spouse, while Oberon holds a flame in his hand. They look intensely at one another as the minister recites the vows. When the couple’s hands join they glow and the minister’s vows change. “As this union is forged…We will dine upon your history…AND FEAST UPON YOUR FEAR, BONNIE BLAIR.” The minister rages and his face becomes distorted. “WE ARE COMING FOR YOU.” The middle schooler wakes with start from this nightmare. She leaves the bedroom that’s been provided for her and goes downstairs where Nicholas Walker, “Lord Oberon’s most faithful, humble, and attractive servant,” has been conjuring breakfast for the girl. As he’s pouring her a drink, Oberon appears asking how she slept. Being told she had weird dreams, he responds, “That’s to be expected. The shock of finding out one’s parents aren’t one’s parents…” Bonnie agrees, prompting Oberon to say he hopes that she can be reborn. As they speak of where to go in this magical land, writer Ryan Parrott returns to Revitt where Gribit is about to discover something horrible. Oberon, Nicholas, and Bonnie then go to the home of Mother Mayie, which is featured on this cover of the book, where Oberon has a favor to ask of the fallen fae. It’s a classic location where Bonnie goes and will be familiar to fans of Jim Henson. What occurs in this location goes as one would expect, ending in a cliffhanger that young Bonnie was warned of. As this is occurring, Oberon and his servant are in an interesting location where someone wants him dead. I love the fantasy of this tale and how little Bonnie is an important key to the Fairy King. This is outstanding. Overall grade: A

The art and the colors: With this firmly issue set in the magical world, artist Milos Slavkovic gets to run wild with his creations and they are wonderful. The opening wedding of the fairies is beautiful and lush, but slowly turns into the stuff of nightmares with the focus falling upon the minister who transforms into something created by Gerald Scarfe. The change of colors from yellow and gold to crimson increases the terror. The interior of Oberon’s home is fanciful, as if he had made a tree grow to his liking. The colors are fall, browns, tans, and oranges. I have to give high marks for having an infamous food from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as the first image spied on Page 3. Oberon enters the book at the start of Page 4 looking down upon Bonnie, indirectly reinforcing his superiority over her. He’s never in the direct sunlight for these pages, keeping his coloring dark and suggesting his sinister nature. Bonnie is the bright spot throughout these pages with her pale blue eyes, white skin, and large orange hair. Revitt is a beautiful location with dreamy blues and greens. Were it not for the horror exposed on the full-paged splash of Page 7 it would be an idyllic locale. Mother Mayie’s home is spectacular not only on the outside, but has wonderful details inside. Her entrance is fantastic as she’s a perfectly designed had. The use of yellow sunlight through the windows of her abode are a perfect way to have her and another stand out as they speak. I like how Slavkovic chose to give Oberon yellow dialogue balloons and mustard colored narration boxes to further separate him from humanity, as well as alerting the reader as to the origin of what they’re reading. The same can be said of the pitch black of Mayie’s balloons. The location that Bonnie and Mayie go to looks great: it’s instantly apparent what it is and it’s different enough from the Henson property to stand on its own. The oranges and browns at this location give it an ancient feel. The visual showstopper of the issue is on Page 15. There’s a lot lurking in corners suggesting the enormity of the locale and it instantly puts the reader on edge. I would love to see more of this location! The final page introduces a new character whose design is cool and disgusting. I’m loving Slavkovic’s work on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Charles Pritchett creates this issue’s dialogue, yells, screams, narration, and scene settings. There are several yells in this issue, each looking as it would sound. The narration is a fancy font that looks as though it was something penned in a fairy tale. The scene settings are captial letters in white that stand out from all else in the book, serving as strong signposts for the reader to note the change of locations. Overall grade: A

The final line: This fantasy without the sugar coating is delicious. Young Bonnie finds herself in the world of the old as a useful pawn for Oberon. The story is fun, scary, and all ages appropriate. The narration by the title character definitely puts the edge onto every page. The visuals are like a dream brought to life. There is every type of wonder and nightmare on display in sumptuous colors. This is the book to give to naysayers who say comic books are for little kids. Absolutely recommended. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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