Oct 25, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 608: Cosmic Odyssey #1, 1988

http://www.comics.org/issue/45186/

I am in no way amongst a minority of people who, upon seeing Mike Mignola's name attached to a project, are immediately interested, no matter the subject matter.

Did I say that right?

I love Mike Mignola's art, is what I'm trying to say. I don't know where I found these comics, but I know they've been a part of the collection for some time now. I've started reading this particular issue a few times, but I've never finished it until now. There's a couple of reasons for this.

You'd think that if anyone could come to Jack Kirby's New Gods and make them incredibly cosmic and strange, it would be Jim Starlin. But I think Starlin's particular corner of the cosmic is inflected more by old school science fiction serials (think of Warlock, or Dreadstar) than is quite appropriate to the superhero genre. Superheroes need to stay just as firmly in the fantastic and the mundane as they do in the science fictional, but this series removes the superheroes from that milieu. When held up against the New Gods and all of the beings that inhabit the cosmos, Earth's superheroes just don't seem that special. And it's their specialness that we crave.

So that's one reason. The other is that I didn't really like the inking in the book. I know that Walt Simonson is attached to the New Gods, but I don't know if this is before or after his run with them - that said, the art looks very Simonson-y to me. Which is not a bad thing. Simonson's one of the originals of superhero art. But I was expecting Mike Mignola art, like that which we see on the cover. Such is not the case. Which is an interesting thing for me, because I'm not really very good at recognizing the amount of the look of a comic that inkers and colourists bring to a comic. Here, however, I have an excellent example.

Anyway, the last reason that I don't like this comic is that the Anti-Life Equation is revealed to be an extra-dimensional life form from the anti-matter universe that is trying to take over ours through the equation.

Um.

Yes, of course it was retconned. But some things in the series weren't, and we'll talk about that next time. Onward!

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