Michael Avon Oeming’s Wild Rover strings together a wild monologue about a man trying to battler his inner alcoholism. What results is a fun take on overcoming addiction in a mystical and original way. While “The Sacrifice” is light on story, it is visually delightful.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Avon Oeming
ART BY: Michael Avon Oeming & Victor Santos
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASE: March 20th, 2013
“Wild Rover” seems to be the reason this one shot exists. “Wild Rover” follows a long-winded monologue that wears thin on my nerves almost immediately. It may be hatred for the voice over driven story, or the lack of new information the voice over delivered outside of the art.
Yet, as the monologue continues (and trust me, it’s a monologue, the thing has maybe 5 pieces of dialogue throughout) I understand Oeming’s nameless character at a deeper level. He is desperate, lost, and consumed with a demon. The presence of the demon, he blames solely on his mother. While this plays out differently as the story continues, it was the nature of his demon that compelled me to continue reading.
His demon is something that plagues many writers, or even many young people. Without revealing the climax of the story, the resolution left me wanting more. “Wild Rover” became wildly original, and extremely interesting in a matter of a page.
Oeming does the art for “Wild Rover” and it’s wonderfully dark. The forced perspectives are warped, and wonderfully demented. The creature designs are lanky, jagged, and scary. What results is this dark fairytale that may or may not exist entirely in the main character’s head. His art really suits the story, so much so, that I feel it says almost everything it needs to in the beginning with the art alone.
For the second story “The Sacrifice” Oeming resumes writing duties, and Victor Santos comes in on the art duties. “The Sacrifice” is quick, but incredibly beautiful. The art creates a wonderful backdrop of a medieval world, capitalized by beautiful character design, and a tree with thousands of swords protruding from it. At times Santos’ art reminded by of Akira Toriyama’s original art of Chrono Trigger. Which is to say it is incredible. The story is simple, but visually overwhelming. I was actually kind of sad when the second story ended so abruptly, I wanted to see more of the Elves, and understand the motivation for the twist at the end.
Oeming’s one shot is a mixed bag. It begins with a fizzle and slowly mounts to something more interesting. The art in both stories is the draw here. Given a better focus, “Wild Rover” could be something, but as it stands its nothing to write home about.
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ