In Review: Oberon #4

Dark fantasy at its finest is to be found in this series! Recommended.

The cover: Bonnie is enjoying dancing with Oberon at the Immortal Masquerade. They are surrounded by other fantasy characters as they make their way on the floor. Neat cover by Milos Slavkovic that teases the final location of this issue. The illustration is good, but the colors are too dim. Though they do suit the event, these colors will not have this issue stand out on the shelf against other books. Overall grade: B

The story: Ryan Parrott has his story begin where the last left off: Mother Mayie is furious with Oberon because of the hell he put her through with Cinderella. She gets his entire skeleton home to rise up and attack the former Faerie King, while inside Nick is doing his best to keep Bonnie from banging into the walls. Just as it seems as if the witch has the upper hand, Oberon pulls out his trump card. The battle ended, Mayie has parting words of warning for him, “The Nevermen are coming. The Nevermen are here. They’ll dine upon your history and feast upon your fear.” His reaction to her words is striking, but left to interpretation by the reader. Oberon transports himself, Nick, and Bonnie to a new home where he tells them to rest. The next day Gribit obtains an audience with Titania, who does something for him for a price. All seems to be going her way, until one of her underlings reveals something and an outstanding dialogue occurs. Parrott still leaves the reason for Titania wanting to protect Bonnie unanswered, but he delightfully dangles several clues before the reader. The book ends at the Immortal Masquerade, where a few new characters are introduced and Oberon’s intended audience closes the book with a surprise. I am completely taken by Oberon’s charms and cruelty. This is a wonderful read! Overall grade: A

The art: Milos Slavkovic is an exceptional artist. The epic scale of the opening battle would be a budget buster in a film. I love the glee Mayie has on her face as she tries to smite the title character. Mayie’s fate is ghastly, with her final face as she warns Oberon stellar. I love that it’s left to the reader to interpret how Oberon feels about what he’s told at the end of Page 5. Gribit looks fantastic on his two pages and I’m hoping that Slavkovic will get to create more images of this wonderful amphibian warrior. Pages 9 – 11 contain a delightful dialogue between, technically, two characters done in the most fantastic circumstances. I love how Slavkovic has the characters react to one another, with Titania being a heartbreaker. Bonnie is like a princess in her dress for the masquerade, while Oberon is an absolute imp with his classical mask. The way the trio journeys to the masquerade is cool and the reveal on 14 magnificent. The characters and their masks and costumes are splendid. The threatening character that ends 16 is dynamite, while the classical character that shows up on 17 perfectly designed. The second panel on 18 shows two characters extremely close to one another and it’s a fantastic comparison. The journey on 19 is neat, with the settings excellent. 20 is a full-paged splash that reveals a new character who looks as though he could best Oberon. Fantasy is both beautiful and terrifying when created by Slavkovic. Overall grade: A

The colors: The narration by Oberon is set apart from all other texts by an aged yellow, making those boxes seem as though they come from an ancient text. The character’s dialogue is in a lighter yellow, showing his words in the present have yet to be committed to paper. Mother Mayie’s speech balloons are colored black to heighten her deadly intentions. Leonardo Paciarotti does an epic job with gold highlights on the skeleton house as it rises to life. I really like the red groan that issues from it. When the story moves to the next day the colors explode with yellows and gold, making Titania seem like a creator of life. Her setting remains bright throughout Pages 9 – 10, while the other character is constantly in dark quarters — an excellent use of colors to show their opposing natures. Having Bonnie wear yellows allows her stand out at the masquerade. I love the use of violet to make the masquerade seem otherworldly. Overall grade: A

The letters: Charles Prichett creates Oberon’s narration, dialogue, groans, sounds, whispered speech, and the tease for next issue. I really like Oberon’s narration; employing lower case letters make this text appear old and classical. The groans from the skeletal home are as large as it is. The sounds are both large and small; perfect for each time they’re used. The whispered speech is used for an intense revelation and a humorous aside. Overall grade: A

The final line: One foe is defeated, while a new one is introduced. What is to be Bonnie’s fate with Oberon leading her about? Next issue, the concluding one, should reveal all! The story is fun, the dialogue wickedly fun, and the visuals to die for. Dark fantasy at its finest is to be found in this series! 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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