Writers- Tyler James and John Lees
Artist- Alex Cormack
Oxymoron, the psychotic villain introduced in ComixTribe’s series The Red Ten, receives the star treatment in this four issue miniseries. Publisher and writer of The Red Ten Tyler James and John Lees, writer of the critically acclaimed oddball horror series And Then Emily Was Gone have teamed up with an interesting spin for this series. The idea they had was to write a Joker story, with no Batman. How would a tale play out if the Green Goblin terrorized New York City, and Spidey, or any superhero did not step in to stop him? Would a hero rise from the mundane, or would the population cower and let havoc reign?
Six months after a traumatic event that cost her partner his life, Mary Clark returns to the Swanstown police force, busted down from Detective to a uniformed officer. Clark contends with a life threatening autoimmune disease, which is viewed as the reason her partner was killed, as she was having an attack of the yet unknown ailment at the time of his death. Treated as a nuisance by some coworkers and the reason her partner died by others, Mary is at a low point in her life. At this time, Oxymoron enters town, and starts a swath of planned out terror. His victims resemble his moniker, with their hidden and criminal actions betraying their pearly white public personas. Mary gets involved directly with one of the victims during a routine suicide jump intervention, and finds her self-confidence restored. Her natural detective instincts take over, and she finds herself submerged in trying to figure out who is behind the rapidly growing body count.
James and Lees do a great job of balancing the villainous theatrics displayed by Oxymoron with the story of Clark’s redemption. Oxy’s repeated credo involves telling his victims that they are not in control, and this story is about Mary’s attempt to regain control of her chaotic life. Can a normal policewoman take down a brilliant foe, normally matched up against heroes in capes and masks? Alex Cormack draws his heart out in these first two issues, deftly displaying a knack for action scenes, while also showing quite the skill when conveying terror and gore, not just in atmosphere, but in character’s faces and demeanor as well. The most important part when using a character as over the top as Oxymoron in an otherwise normal setting is capturing a unique voice in his dialogue, and a particular sense of movement and physical presence in his panels. All three creators have excelled at this.
If you have enjoyed ComixTribe titles in the past, picking up The Loveliest Nightmare is a no brainer. Dialogue and art are on point, and the story of a fallen cop’s rise from tragedy and the whirlwind she finds herself in is top-notch storytelling. Every time I crack open a new series from the Tribe, I have that momentary trepidation that they are finally going to let me down. I guess I can carry on that fear until their next title, because this series is amongst the best they have put out.
5 Feliciano Towers of 5
Issue 1 in stores in August, review copies provided by ComixTribe