Friends and family know that I love to study history. And while I love a historically accurate documentary, historical fiction has a special place in my heart. And yes, that includes those alternative histories or even a fictional conspiracy theory. So, when I saw the solicit for Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body, I knew I had to check it out.
It is almost impossible to be on any part of the internet before encountering one of many rabbit holes that lead to wild conspiracies. Everything from government coverups to secret cabals ruling the universe is around every corner. The Kennedy assassination itself is filled with dozens of conspiracy theories. Many of these ideas are insane, which makes them great for the plot of a comicbook. Regarding The Matter of Oswald’s Body would have us believe that, in the 1960s, there were two Lee Harvey Oswalds. The first was the man who trained with the military and killed President Kennedy. And the second is a man who was buried in the grave with Oswald’s name on it. Of course, to have a second body, you need to acquire said body, and for that, you need to have a team to help you acquire that body. This is the focus of Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body #1.
Christopher Cantwell does an excellent job of introducing us to a cast of characters who are realistic. The introduction to each member of the ragtag team highlights both their unique skills and their demons. Doing so helps open up the world that Cantwell is creating around these characters. By the end of the first issue, the foundation feels solid and ready to move forward with telling the rest of the story. One of the most interesting characters is also one of the most mysterious. Frank, as he claims to be named, is the one doing the legwork on putting the team together. He knows the answers before the questions are asked and moves with precision. He is the type of character that ties everything together nicely and leaves you wanting more information.
Any great comic must have a talented artist that complements the story. Enter Luca Casalanguida. Casalanguida provides us with characters who are as unique in their looks as they are in their stories. With a story that is based in reality, the characters are grounded in realism rather than fantasy. Colors are muted and do not distract from the plot development. Where Casalanguida shines is portraying emotions or, in some cases, a lack of emotion. There is never a doubt when one of the characters is surprised, concerned, or even scared. Meanwhile, Frank is shown to never tip his hand as to what he knows and does not know. Instead, he is stiff and unmoving in the way he is presented, which is a perfect fit for the character.
By the last page of Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body #1, I was hooked. Now that the team is together, I want to know what’s next. And of course, I want to see how things go wrong along the way.