It’s been a few years since I’ve read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The first time I read it, I was awed by Dickens’ storytelling ability. It was one of those books that I had to read in high school, but I automatically fell in love with it. I couldn’t read it in small chunks with the rest of the class. Knowing that it was being adapted into a comic book series was something I knew I had to read. Oliver #1, which is published by Image Comics, is written by Gary Whitta and drawn by Darick Robertson. It follows the lead character of Dickens’ novel Oliver but in a futuristic setting. Orphaned at birth and left to be raised by synthetic humans, Oliver embarks on a journey of self-discovery, which will ultimately lead to him becoming one of the most important people in a war-ravaged England.
The art style alone immediately captivated me. Seeing England the way it’s drawn in this comic is a perfect way to depict the aftermath of war. From the synthetic humans who have clearly seen major battle, to the way the streets have been destroyed, this England is a place I want to learn more about. The art pulled me in and I want to see where it goes from here.
The story is set up perfectly to the point where people who have never read the novel will still enjoy reading this. It flows smoothly and provides a perfect explanation of what’s been going on. It also doesn’t give too much away, like the origins of Oliver, which will surely have readers coming back for more. I also enjoyed the fact that Oliver’s name was chosen from one of William Shakespeare’s famous plays As You Like It. Being the literature nerd that I am, I really appreciated this.
The relationship between Oliver and one of the synthetic humans was quite interesting to see. The bond that they’re able to form coming from similar backgrounds was really great to see. Rather than seeming like best friends, their relationship correlates perfectly with the older-younger brother dynamic. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic develops, especially with the information that’s given at the end of the comic.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the first issue of the Oliver comic series. It brought me the same joy as when I read the Dickens’ novel many years ago. I’m sad that I have to wait for the next issue to come. It’s a perfect example of how to do an adaptation of a major piece of literature into a comic but also finds a way to make it its own. This coming-of-age story will surely have readers invested and will hopefully find ways to relate to it. It’s incredible to see creators caring about these sort of stories. I’ll anxiously wait for the next installment.
Oliver #1 will be available on January 23, 2019, wherever comic books are sold.
It brought me the same joy as when I read the Dickens’ novel many years ago.