[Comic Book Review] OLIVER #1 from Image Comics

PopCultHQ received a review copy of OLIVER #1 from Image Comics. Available January 23rd, 2019, the creative team for this issue features writing from Gary Whitta, art from Darick Robertson, colors by Diego Rodriguez, and lettering from Simon Bowland.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Oliver #1

Writer: Gary Whitta
Artist: Darick Robertson
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Darick Robertson
Award-winning screenwriter GARY WHITTA (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book Of Eli) teams with celebrated artist DARICK ROBERTSON (Transmetropolitan, HAPPY!, The Boys) for a new take on a literary classic — with a futuristic twist. OLIVER re-imagines Charles Dickens’ most famous orphan as a post-apocalyptic superhero fighting to liberate a war-ravaged England while searching for the truth about his own mysterious origins.

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
OLIVER #1

OLIVER #1

When you bring Gary Whitta and Darick Robertson together, you can probably predict that the comic book will be at least “pretty darn good.” I was pleasantly surprised and highly impressed by their take on the Charles Dickens classic.

A brief personal note…I was in an acting guild for a number of years, performing plays on stage and such. Oliver Twist has had a special place in my heart and my life over the years because I had the pleasure of partaking in a large production of the story as William “Bill” Sikes. Ever since, I’ve always taken an interest in different versions, adaptations, and re-imaginings. Some are quite enjoyable, others are bit more out there. Most of them are simply just fun or they don’t hit at all. But this new title from Image Comics has me excited. I love the direction, it’s packed with the feels, and it leaves you questioning, wanting more, and anxious for the next issue.

Writing:

Gary Whitta had me grinning and wide-eyed from page one. His spin on Oliver Twist with a post-apocalyptic superhero in Oliver…to be honest, this isn’t an easy task to pull-off. But in this series debut, Gary proves there is so much more to OLIVER #1 than you’ll read in its synopsis.

For a first issue, Whitta did a tremendous job laying down the foundation for his story. Not only that, he’s delivered it in a way that mimics Dickens’ pacing through his storytelling. You don’t feel that you’re reading a comic book, but along the ride for our hero’s journey. I am beyond curious as to what Whitta has up his sleeve for future issues!

Art:

Artist Darick Robertson truly captures the essence of Whitta’s story through his illustrations. The detail to the ravaged streets of London make for a post-apocalyptic pleasure to the senses. His layouts and angles are magnificent throughout.

After finishing the entire first issue, I can attest that I would not want any other artist taking on OLIVER than Robertson. Darick has always shown to be a great talent, but in OLIVER he’s a force with which to be reckoned!

Colors:

As impressive as the Whitta/Robertson one-two-punch is, I was captivated by colorist Diego Rodriguez’s work. It’s a darker world and time: grim, filled with despair, and void of hope. Diego recognizes this by providing a softer palette, as well as knowing when to hold back and allow Robertson’s line art take center stage.

Even as cold as this future appears to be, Diego’s colors evoke the much-needed hope through the warm glow of the sun, feeling almost as if it radiated from the pages. Simply beautiful work from Rodriguez.

Letters:

What can I say about letterer Simon Bowland that hasn’t been said before? The guy’s a true pro, always laying down fantastic placements, and was the last necessary component to bring it all together.

That kind of perfection where it feels seamless and embedded, where your eyes look forward to the next dialogue bubble or caption, as you would the next musical note in a song. Bowland is a letterer who can add that flow and he does so splendidly in this first issue.

OLIVER #1

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

Despite people’s differences, whatever they may be (race, religion, sexual orientation, political views, etc.), something I feel everyone experiences and yearns for is hope. Though times seem rough in this post-apocalyptic London in the future, the creative team and their combined talents have created a comic book brimming with hope. The emotion you find page after page, panel after panel, makes you want to know more, see more, feel more. Though the times ahead in this world look bleak and dark, OLIVER reminds us to keep looking up!

OLIVER by Whitta & Robertson is the best Dickens re-imagining ever to debut in the comic book industry. The future looks bright, not only for the characters found within, but for this complete series. A definite must-read and you know I’ve added it to my pull list! You should too!

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

OLIVER #1

5 out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 5 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 5 Stars

OLIVER #1 can be pre-ordered on ComiXology and available at
your local comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, January 23rd!

Subscribe to OLIVER Directly from Image Comics!

UP NEXT…

OLIVER #2

Diamond Order Code: DEC180267
In Shops: Feb 27, 2019
Final Orders Due: Feb 04, 2019

Oliver learns a devastating, life-changing truth about his origins-and puts his entire adoptive community in danger when he rebels against the oppressive regime that rules over it.


Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer – Gary Whitta

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Artist – Darick Robertson

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Colorist – Diego Rodriguez

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Letterer – Simon Bowland

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Publisher – Image Comics

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About Jason Bennett 5241 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett