"Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by ComixTribe
Written by Tyler James and John Lees
Illustrated by Alex Cormack
Colors by Jules Rivera
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 11th, 2015
The Oxymoron is proving to be an unstoppable force of chaos in Swanstown. He's already killed the mayor, ravaged the criminal underworld, and decimated the police department. Recently reinstated Detective Mary Clark is in this madman's sights and he's about to ruin her life in the most heinous ways imaginable.
Reading Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare is like watching a train wreck. You know it's going to be gruesome, but you can't look away. This book takes violence to new heights, to areas that are just completely unseen on the stands today. It's not blood and gore for the sake of it. This isn't a Saw movie. This is so much more. Each action of Oxymoron serves to cement him as one of the most vile and truly evil characters in comics...and you can't help but get drawn in to his orbit of insanity. You can't not turn the page with anticipation, wondering what he's going to do next.
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Oxymoron is entirely unpredictable. He had made a point of coercing local news personality Krystal Gaines into his plan, but she became just another pawn. She had become a bit of a villain herself, working with this lunatic and ultimately serving as an accomplice in the deaths of dozens of people. The framing of Oxymoron's conversation with Krystal is so damn uncomfortable. Writers Tyler James and John Lees had already made an incredibly creepy scene with the two of them in the previous issue, but they upped their game here.
Krystal conducts an interview while “kidnapped” by Oxymoron. The whole scene is shown from the point of view of a camera, complete with the battery and recording icon. This provides a static shot of the events, an unblinking and unbiased eye on the horror that unfolds for all to see. Artist Alex Cormack knocked this out of the park. Oxymoron turns the tables on the viewers at home, giving them the power to stop the madness, but of course, we can't pull away from this spiral. It's a train wreck and we love a good disaster. I particularly love the change in Krystal's facial expressions as she realizes what's really going on. She goes from pure joy, thinking that she's about to get a huge scoop, to utter terror as reality sets in.
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Despite all this blood – and there's a lot of it – the scene I found the scariest was one that didn't spill a drop. Mary is following up on a lead in a dark room. A single light illuminates the area. She leans in close to get a better look and a pair of white gloved hands reaches out from the darkness, ready to grab her by the neck and strangle the life out of her. This takes up three panels in the entire book. It's not even a full page. That moment just gets under your skin. It plays with a carnal fear of the dark that we've all had at one point. The idea that someone like Oxymoron might be lurking there in the shadows can send a shiver down your spine.
The one person that seems even somewhat capable of stopping the Oxymoron is Mary. Many of his actions have been like a personal message to her, calling her out and inviting her to play his game. This issue fills in the gaps of Mary's past and what happened with her partner, plus why she was a disgraced officer at the beginning of the series. It's a powerful scene that helps round her out as a character, giving you a great sense of who she is and why she does what she does. She's driven by her past mistakes and determined to avoid repeating them. Somehow throughout all this pain and heartbreak, she's managed to continue on, standing up to adversity at every turn and keeping her head high. Then Oxymoron throws a major monkey wrench into the works.
Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare is most definitely a book for mature audiences. The lengths that this character goes are extreme. The end of this issue will shock you to your very core. You'll wonder what just happened. You won't believe it at first. They didn't really do that, did they? There's only one issue left and I have no idea how the creators are going to top themselves, but I cannot wait to find out.