Lords of the Cosmos Comic Review

When you chuck your favorite action figures and some dusty 80's Heavy Metal magazines into a blender, you get Ugli Studios' LORDS OF THE COSMOS, an insane sci-fi fantasy comic that takes no prisoners.

Presented as a collection of loosely-connected stories about a host of incredible characters, each written by either one of Cosmos' co-creators (Jason Lenox, Dennis Fallon, and Jason Palmatier) and drawn by a bevy of talented artists, Lords of the Cosmos is surprisingly fun. Sci-fantasy like this is not easy to get right, and yet I feel compelled to read more about characters like Cy-Corr the zombie cyborg unicorn or Umex, the walking virus hellbent on destroying the planet Aiden and everything good on it.

There's always a danger for comics like these to end up dated or corny. But Lenox and co. managed to tap into 80's kids' collective memories of playing with action figures and poured all of it onto the comic book page. The stories in these books are gritty and edgy, but the writers and artists are having fun with it, and it shows. Lords of the Cosmos is not a tongue-in-cheek send-up of Saturday morning cartoons; it's a story of larger-than-life characters locked in mortal struggle, played straight, no strings attached.

The art style varies from story to story, which I love. The black and white format works in its favor, setting the book's dark tone better than a fully-colored page ever could, and the violence and gore (and there's a lot of it here to count) can be turned up a notch without getting too uncomfortable a read. It's not all impeccable, though. Some stories in the book could use a good inker to make the art pop or help make panels easier to read. The story about Orchamemnon (a sentient flower piloting a goddamn mecha holy shit) in Issue 3 would have been amazing if only there was some contrast between the inks to figure out who or what is happening.

But then you meet the heroes in issue 3 and oh my god one of them is a giant talking wasp with a shotgun, and I'm all aboard again. Mainstream comics today could learn a thing or two from Lords of the Cosmos. Not everything has to be a Watchmen or a The Longbow Hunters. Sometimes, comic book fans just want to see a zombie unicorn take on a wasp with a shotgun.

Lords of the Cosmos issues 1 to 3 are available on Comixology, with issue 4 having recently finished a successful Kickstarter and is ready to be released to backers soon. Digital copy provided by the publisher for review.

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