Oxymoron 2 and 3 Attempt to Give Depth to The Red Ten's Supervillain ~ What'cha Reading?

Oxymoron 2 and 3 Attempt to Give Depth to The Red Ten’s Supervillain


I am thoroughly enjoying Comix Tribe’s superhero murder mystery, The Red Ten, and the supergroup’s nemesis, Oxymoron. I really enjoyed the first issue of Oxymoron’s stand-alone series, too, but I have to admit that issues 2 and 3 haven’t done it for me. Let’s discuss.

oxymoron2Issue 1 was a well-crafted issue, with three stories that gave us a look at the supervillain obsessed with contradiction. They were heavy on the bloodlust, but we got the beginnings of a character portrait of Oxymoron, who could be in danger of being considered a Joker rip-off – and yet, he’s initially presented as being so much more, driven by motivations far deeper than madness. The first story, Living Dead by Mark Bertolini, is a tongue-in-cheek look at what happens when Oxymoron becomes a contradiction himself – an antihero. The second story in Issue 2, Double Standard, seems to be the writer’s personal axe to grind with media religious/political figures. Double Standard features Red and Crimson, so readers know these adventures happen well before the events of The Red Ten and provide depth of character for us as we read the two books. Here, we see writer Steven Forbes take aim at thinly veiled portrayals of rappers-turned-actors like LL Cool J and actors who have great bodies and have not much else to offer roles like… I’ll just come out and say it. It’s Ryan Reynolds, and his portrayals of Deadpool (don’t get me started) and Green Lantern. He also aims Oxymoron’s wrath at conservatives like Rick Santorum – insinuating that perhaps the gentleman doth protest homosexuality too much – and Il Papa himself, Pope Benedict, implying that he was born Jewish.

oxymoron3Issue 3’s stories, Quiet Riot and Alone in a Crowd, are more interesting than those in Issue 2, but still lack the bite that held me in Issue 1. Again, Issue 3 is heavily influenced by iconic media that went before. Quiet Riot, written by Paul Allor, is reminiscent of the movie Speed. Dying to have peace and quiet, Oxymoron sets explosives throughout the city that will go off if the sound goes above a whisper. Alone in a Crowd, by Ryan K. Lindsey, is reminiscent of Batman: Imposters, but is probably closer to the public’s fascination with public characters, for better or for worse. While I enjoyed Quiet Riot, I couldn’t get the idea of the speeding bus out of my head – but it’s still a well-written story with an “Oh crap!” ending.

The art in both issues is still solid, if heavy on the wetworks. You know this going in, and if you don’t like that sort of thing, this isn’t your book. I really want to see this book do well, and think there’s a great villain with a great story here; there are ways to take aim at your issues without turning it into a painful side joke.

Overall, I give Issues 2 a 2.5/5 and Issue 3 a 3/5. They’re both available on Comixology for 99 cents each.

Writers: Mark Bertolini, Steve Forbes
Artists: Carl Yonder, Dave Myers
Publisher: Comix Tribe
Price: 99 cents on Comixology
Available Now!

Writers: Paul Allor, Ryan K. Lindsey
Artists: Aaron Houston, Daniel J. Logan
Publisher: Comix Tribe
Price: 99 cents on Comixology
Available Now!

About Author

Rosemary Kiladitis is a children’s librarian, a mom, and a proud fangirl/nerdgirl. She did her homework while watching reruns of the 1966 Batman series, which led to her longstanding relationship with the Bat, and she’s pretty sure that Barbara Gordon is the real reason she went to library school. She loves superheroes, supervillains, and is secretly married to Hellboy. Or Loki. She can’t remember, but it’s one of them. Roe blogs about children’s and teen books at http://roespot.blogspot.com, and you can read her 140 character ramblings on twitter @RoeSolo.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for taking the time to review the latest Oxymoron digital issues on Comixology, Rosemary. One of the things I enjoyed most of putting together the Oxymoron anthology of shorts is seeing all of the different interpretations of the character by various writers and artists. I see each short as sort of an appetizer…

    …For the main course, well, next year’s OXYMORON mini-series “The Loveliest Nightmare” by myself, John Lees, and Alex Cormack will hopefully give readers their fill.


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