The king of faerie is now exiled on Earth, but what designs does he have on a young woman named Bonnie Blair? Your Major Spoilers review of Oberon #1 awaits!
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Mios Slavkovic
Colorist: Milos Slavkovic
Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Previously in Oberon: Betrayed by his people and exiled to Earth, Lord Oberon, the former king of the fairies, seeks out an innocent prophesied child in order to manipulate her into becoming his ultimate weapon so that he can reclaim his rightful throne.
A KING IN EXILE
This issue begins with the cutest frog-warrior I’ve ever seen, Sir Thornberry XVI, who stands guard against an ancient evil that would destroy everything. He protects The Light of the Always as his family has for generations, standing guard over the lantern that holds off the evil of The Nevermen. Elsewhere, young Bonnie Blair successfully completes another lesson, impressing her teacher/mom and earning a trip to the museum she loves more than anything. When she attempts to invite her sister, though, she is reminded that she doesn’t actually have any friends (and also delivering some exposition in a clever, organic fashion.) On a visit to the library, she heartbreakingly asks her librarian friend to go to the museum with her, only to get turned down and also attacked by a garbage monster. Fortunately, she is saved at the last moment by the arrival of Oberon and transported into a secret fairy land, where Oberon tells her the truth: She is actually a fairy princess herself. She doesn’t believe him, but accepts the magical token offered her, a tiny bell. Returning home, she asks her parents about what she has been told…
That’s when things get truly weird.
A REALLY BEAUTIFUL BOOK
I’m really impressed with the art and the coloring on this issue. Whether depicting a magical wood full of flesh-eating unicorns (you kind of had to be there) or the streets of San Francisco, every page is lovely. Bonnie’s confusion and concern are perfectly rendered, and the sly expressions given to Oberon throughout the issue are wonderful. You almost believe him when he tells Bonnie that he only wants to help her, even though we as readers know better (and are almost immediately shown different.) Even the garbage-monster is beautiful, which is an impressive feat in itself. As for the story, I found myself drawn in almost immediately, and the subtle manipulations of the King of Fairy throughout the issue are surprising and engaging. Also, any comic that starts with a uniformed anthropomorphic frog keeping watch on a universal beacon that will signal the return of a great evil is worth the price of admission automatically.
BOTTOM LINE: A STRONG START
As a fan of peak Vertigo, this book hits me right where I live, reminding me of the work of Neil Gaiman and company in all the right ways. There are still clearly mysteries that have to be unraveled, but as an introduction to this world and its players, Oberon #1 is a winner, with beautiful art and an engaging story, combining for an impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not sure what will happen to Bonnie now that she’s in the clutches of someone who may or may not be out to destroy her, but I’m more than happy to come back next issue and find out.
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An interesting take on the fairy legends of yore, with just enough Shakespearian references to make it clear they know whose turf they're playing on, plus beautiful art.