REVIEW: Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1

Story: Tyler James & John Lees
Art: Alex Cormack
Colors: Jules Rivera
Publisher: Comixtribe
Release Date: August 19, 2015

Bad guys takes center stage again this week with Comixtribe’s release of Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1. Written by Tyler James and John Lees, the story opens in a flashback where we find our villain giving a terrific bad guy speech in front of a dead man on the floor, and Detective Mary Clark. As the story moves back to present time, we find Mary 6 months removed from her traumatic experience and attempting to return to normal life. To help get over the recent tragic events, she has returned to work as a normal beat cop. We learn the dead man in the flashback was Mary’s partner, and while returning to work was supposed to help Mary deal with her loss, it’s proving to be extra difficult as all her fellow officers blame her for her partner’s death. Within just a few pages, James and Lees provide terrific background and motivation for our main character. As the issue progresses Mary receives a call while on patrol about a crazy man threatening to jump from the top of a building. At the conclusion of the incident she has feelings that there may have been more to the story but her suspicions are written off as silly and passed over for bigger targets back at the precinct. Through the end of the issue, James and Lees take us on a trilling ride that tie Mary, her suspicions about the jumper, our villain, and the bigger targets referenced earlier in the issue all together.

Tyler James and John Lees give you everything you could ask for in a first issue with Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1. They not only introduce us to the main character, but they provide enough back story and emotion to allow readers to become immediately attached to her story. And while we know Mary’s struggles stem from the loss of her former partner, we are never told in this issue what exactly happened which makes you want to read on. While there is little action in this first issue, the near perfect pacing of the story never allows for a dull moment. Even the simplest moments such as Mary and her boyfriend talking in his apartment are made relevant as you get to see how Mary views herself, which ultimately contributes to the struggle she is trying to overcome.

Alex Cormack is on art duties for this series and is the right man for the job. Throughout the issue, the main character has to defend herself from accusations she was responsible for her former partner’s murder, while still questioning herself as a person. Cormack’s facial expressions really bring forth how conflicted of a character we are dealing with. Page layouts were simple and easy to follow. Cormack also treats us to a pretty awesome first look at our titular villain, which further confirms who the real star of this series will be.

Final Veridct: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. A great bad guy will do wonders for a story and Oxymoron in no exception. He’s a motivated villain that falls somewhere between Heath Ledger’s Joker and Mark Millar’s Nemesis character. A great first issue filled with great art, Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1 does it’s best to earn your money this week. Buy it.

“The first thing I need to make clear to you is that you are not in control…”

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