Released January 23rd by Image Comics, Oliver is the first issue in a new series; a retelling of Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist. This comic is set in a post apocalyptic world, marred by war. The title character, Oliver, is introduced when his mother is found, gas mask in place, wondering through an area that is quite obviously NOT WHERE SHE BELONGS. The story starts with Oliver delivered and his mother dead, a baby left with a group of men who cannot decide whether to keep him or toss him out to certain death. His life is saved by a man I am secretly (not so secretly) calling Mr. Fury (you’ll understand when you read the comic) and then a time jump three years leaves us with an Oliver who is quite obviously not fully human.
Oliver is a tramp that does parkour and has the sass of a teenager. He also still knows nothing about who he is. The comic ends with just a bit of backstory into who the men who are raising him are, and what exactly happened to the world, but there is a glaring cliffhanger in that Oliver still doesn’t know about himself. The comic is set to really delve deep into the world further along, keeping true to Dicken’s orphan story.
I quite enjoyed this opening issue, and probably not solely because I am a sucker for a classic lit retelling. I’ve long been a fan of post apocalyptic stories so that was part of the enjoyment, but mostly, not gonna lie, it was the art. The story is solid but the opening pages with the doomed mother walking through a destroyed world? Yeah, that was gorgeous. Gary White did a great job with the words, but what really drew me in was Darick Robertson’s drawings. I especially love the copious use of birds, but overall, I just loved the look of this comic. I am really looking forward to seeing what comes next, and how it will diverge form the story I already know so well.