And in just four issues, our time with Cosmos, the last being from the Milky Way galaxy, is over. D.J. Kirkbride and Vassilis Gogtzilas created a character that many would immediately write off as another Superman clone, and told a classic redemptive story in an unlikely setting. Written in the vein of a fairy tale, The Bigger Bang’s end could have been seen from the moment we first met the nefarious King Thulu and Cosmos’s love interest Wyan. Despite its predictability though, Kirkbride and Gogtzilas infuse the story with an incredible amount of energy and care that reinvigorates the good vs evil story, and makes for a satisfying conclusion. Proceeding directly from the last issue’s events, here we see Cosmos fly off following Wyan’s reveal about her past genocidal actions. Gogtzilas does a fantastic job in this first page of conveying how crushing Cosmos finds this information, and how much more affecting his heartbreak is than any battle he has faced so far. Even though his face is proportionally tiny to the massive bulk of his body, my eyes locked onto the mournful look he has. From there, Cosmos meets up with a pal we haven’t seen since the premiere, getting some sound advice about dealing with the guilt he feels due to the cost of his birth.
The bulk of the issue then turns into a brawl between Cosmos and King Thulu and his forces, Kirkbride taking a step back and trusting Gogtzilas to use his raw artwork to convey the intensity of the battle, choreographing some scenes that push Cosmos powers beyond what we’ve seen before, such as picking up Thulu’s space castle and smashing it down, and then making the already creepy Thulu even more sinister following his transformation. I really liked the explanation provided for Thulu’s transformation as it aligns with his intense arrogance that he’s displayed several times over the course of the book. The larger, gangly, more-eyed Thulu provides a great contrast to the smooth bulk of Cosmos, especially in the first double-page spread of the two where Thulu easily takes up three quarters of the space.
What’s apparent at the end of this issue is that even when Gogtzilas’ illustrations are at their murkiest, there’s no question about the emotional power of his work. Expanding on what I’ve said in previous reviews, Gogtzilas linework makes every action on the page seem to be occurring at a pace that’s hardly containable by the markings. He casts Cosmos’ face in shadow for the most part, giving a greater emphasis to those moments where we see Cosmos’ eyes and mouth in greater detail. In one moment in particular, we recognize just how much Cosmos has come to care about Wyan not by what he says or the actions that follow the moment, but by the emotion Cosmos expresses on his face, with focused tensed eyes and gritted teeth, a super being finally unrestricting his power.
A great end to a comic that’s been consistently fun to read, I’ll be sure to pick up The Bigger Bang in the trade form as its fairy tale and silver age comic qualities provide its reading a level of comfort not seen in other contemporary comics. It will make into circulation with other books that I stumble into on sleepless nights, working as an access point into dreams of space whales.