By Tyler James, John Lees, Alex Cormack, Jules Rivera
“The city’s infrastructure has collapsed. Authority figures on both sides of the law have been murdered, and no one wants to take their place. Even the national guard have been overwhelmed. I keep thinking, ‘How can one man do all this?'”
Imagine a story where the Joker was allowed to go ALL OUT. This is what Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare has been from beginning to end. In this tale however the villain is hoping to help create the hero he so craves to face. Can justice prevail in the face of pure evil?
The writers on this series are Tyler James and John Lees and they haven’t pulled any punches. Issue #4 of their story sees more gruesome side effects of Oxymoron’s devious plots on Swanstown. The villain has even managed to inspire some of the civilians to take up his persona and wreak their own havoc on everyone. James and Lees do a great job at giving Oxymoron a certain brand of humor throughout this issue as well, giving quips like “Heh, heh… look at us. We’re twins” as he’s face to face with Mary, the woman he’s trying to create into his ideal version of a hero. The line comes as unexpected, since he doesn’t appear to have the upper hand, but it goes to show his sense of humor in the face of danger.
On the artwork side of this issue we have Alex Cormack accompanied by colorist Jules Rivera. The artwork once again gives us some pretty graphic visuals as Cormack and Rivera craft the scenes of Oxymoron’s wildest dreams. Something Cormack does exceptionally well with his artwork is depict intense facial expressions. Often times in this issue you’ll see characters with looks of pure horror on their faces, the images startling in some cases. A certain scene shows a woman in a diner after a bunch of explosives went off. The woman is holding the body of her husband as a cop comes in to get her to safety, but the woman can’t seem to move, her eyes are bewildered as tears stream down her face. Rivera covers this scene in the dark tones, creating the diner as covered in shadows, while the cops face is depicted as bright and representing hope within the turmoil.
This is the kind of story that sends chills down your spine. Tyler James and John Lees, along with Alex Cormack and Jules Rivera, have created a story filled with tension and manipulation. Oxymoron is an insane villain, and one willing to do whatever it takes to get the results he desires. If you’re a Joker fan, or have ever wondered what it’d be like if the bad guy had total control over the hero then check this story out, leave the lights on, hide under your covers, and keep a flashlight close in case the lights go out…mysteriously.