Colonel Weird: Cosmagog by Jeff Lemire

details
Title: Colonel Weird: Cosmagog.
Series: The World of Black Hammer #5.
Writer(s): Jeff Lemire.
Artist(s): Tyler Crook.
Letterer(s): Tyler Crook.
PublisherDark Horse Books.

Format
: Paperback.
Release Date: February 9th 2021.
Pages: 112.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781506715162.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Also in The World of Black Hammer:
Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil by Jeff Lemire.
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Jeff Lemire.
Black Hammer ’45 by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes.

thoughts

Since Jeff Lemire’s and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer project, this Dark Horse Comics imprint universe has grown in various directions on top of completing its original run. Several additional story arcs, sometimes handled by writers other than Jeff Lemire himself, have also been released to further explore characters, settings, and stories within this world that pays homage to superhero comic book stories. The latest spin-off installment within The World of Black Hammer presents fans with writer Jeff Lemire (Descender, Sweet Tooth, Essex County) and artist Tyler Crook (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun) teaming up to focus on one of the most mysterious heroes of Spiral City as he’s off on an uncomfortable journey through time and space to find answers to questions he does not yet have.

What is Colonel Weird: Cosmagog about? Space adventurer Colonel Randall Weird continues to find himself unable to fight the strange forces at work as he teleports through time and space to unusually familiar places without a clue in the world as to what he should be doing. This time, deep down, he feels like he’s missing a piece of the puzzle to this fractured universe as he goes off wandering into his past and future, vainly trying to figure out what exactly he has forgotten and that he so desperately needs to remember as soon as possible. Collecting all four issues of this graphic novel, the story explores one man’s journey for answers, unfortunately, filled with fear, loneliness, and guilt.

“My Ma always says… When you lose something, the best way to find it again is by retracing your steps.”

— Jeff Lemire

Within the Black Hammer series, Colonel Randall Weird was in fact quite weird. His character often appeared and disappeared like an untethered thought yet somehow, always held some kind of importance in the grand scheme of things. His tendency to be completely vague in his answers always seemed to hint that he had something to hide but never did we fully grasp his character as we do in this spin-off series that offers an origin story for the hero. Despite the attempt to elucidate his character’s mystery, we also find ourselves bombarded with additional questions, often feeling like the crevasse only grew in size rather than filled with answers.

Not only does his character revisit key moments of his life at a truly absurd pace and in an awkward fashion, going in and out of the Parazone when you least expect it, his character’s essence is also maintained throughout the story-telling format, showcasing his unshackled and unintelligible nature quite accurately. In fact, this story ultimately enlightens readers as to this hero’s role in facing the larger threat within this fractured universe while giving readers a better idea of his temporal and spatial predicament and its emotional toll on his psyche. It is this toll that could’ve benefited from a better, in-depth exploration for an overall better result.

In the same vein as Harrow County, artist Tyler Crook brings his A-game as he remains loyal to this series original artistic design while infusing with his own watercolour touch that brilliantly fits the purposefully confusing narrative. A sense of distortion of reality is also perfectly captured by the transition between panels but also the structure of said panels, never conforming to any traditional format. The sense of dread and disorientation in Colonel Weird’s character is also satisfyingly captured through his demeanour and facial expressions, essentially summarizing the reader’s own emotional states while going through this odd adventure.

Colonel Weird: Cosmagog is a wild and bizarre sci-fi adventure origin story that picks up a couple of loose ends along the way while tackling themes of loneliness and friendship.


EXHIBITA
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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10 comments

  • You’re really getting into Jeff Lamire lately, eh? 🙂 Some of your description vaguely brought to mind the shows Quantum Leap and Sliders, though perhaps with far more uncertainly and unpredictability to his movements. I really like the look watercolor provides.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahah It was coincidental. Or not. Maybe I like to support fellow Canadians unconsciously. 😛 Very interesting comparison to Quantum Leap/Sliders. I haven’t checked either of them out but the premise does seem to show some similarities! And yes. In the right hands, watercolour artwork is quite stunning! 😮

      Like

  • Jeff Lemire certainly has a very weird imagination. He lived in Harrow, which is about minutes from me. I read the Essex County trilogy just because of that and it was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Is Jeff Lemire your current favorite author? Sounds like this one has a good hold on its main character and the graphic effectively grasping the emotions of the characters, not to also mention the great use of panels for transitions albeit the non traditional format. Great review once again, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha noooo, I just like exploring his stories. They often turn out to be so very intriguing, often pertaining to human emotions and their bond with another. I also just happen to review a lot of them here though. 😛 Thanks for reading, Jee!

      Like

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