Before I read this issue, I had to come to terms with the idea that it could not live up to the expectations built up after being blown away by the premiere. That took much longer than I thought it would, and it was only because I had given myself a deadline on writing this review that I finally opened the file to the follow-up, reading it twice in one sitting as is my way with single issues. Like expected, the second issue did very little new to make me want to evangelize The Bigger Bang’s, but that’s ok because this issue retains everything I loved about the premiere. That feat doesn’t go remarked enough by me who’s often quick to dismiss a book the moment it’s not as good as the previous installment. Although I said that this comic doesn’t do anything much that the previous issue didn’t, it does introduce an interesting recap page formatted and written in the style of a tabloid, but instead it’s a tabloid FROM SPACE. It works to both bring new readers up to speed on the story while also showing how much control the comic’s antagonist, King Thulu, has over those under his empire, including its film industry that’s currently producing a biopic about him.
From there, we’re taken to King Thulu’s throne room on his bitching castle spaceship where Captain Wyan, the soldier who ignored the king’s order to destroy Cosmos last issue, is brought in for her disobedience. After telling the king why Cosmos might better serve as an ally than enemy, King Thulu dispatches Wyan to find Cosmos and persuade him to meet the king. Meanwhile, we’re taken to Voltrax 3, sister planet of the more ‘evolved’ Voltrax 4, to find Cosmos chilling and eating a space apple. After defending the residents of Voltrax 3 from unmanned drones from Voltrax 4, Cosmos and Wyan meet and we’re treated to the first instance of spoken dialogue from the godly superbeing.
Given my other review this week, it might seem hypocritical for me to say that this book succeeds on atmosphere alone, but screw it, it does. I like Cosmos and Captain Wyan just fine, and think that D.J. Kirkbride writes the most tonally compelling narration I’ve read in a while, but it’s really just inhabiting this universe that I think will continue drawing me back to the book for the last two issues. Even though Cosmos’ existential problems could come off as angsty and self-involved, the comic has an intense feeling of hopefulness in every page in spite of its darker elements. Vassilis Gogtzilas draws a universe that’s chaotic in many ways, but always undeniably beautiful while Kirkbride seems to sincerely enjoy producing the sort of epic comic language that too often comes off as ironic in other contemporary books.
I don’t care where this comic goes from here so long as the creators continue giving me twenty-five pages of spacey bliss. If I end up falling in love with its characters, that’ll just be a bonus.
Writer: DJ Kirkbride Artist: Vassilis Gogtzilas Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/17/14 Format: Print/Digital