Created by Scott Kinney, Kozmik tells the story of young Zak Tyler, a grade school kid who likes comic books and hates bullies. When he discovers an amazing battle suit hidden in his closet late one night, he takes to the skies to fulfill his dream of becoming a superhero. What he doesn’t know is that the evil despot Lord Dreadnite and his fleet have come to retrieve the suit. When Zak and his family become a target of both alien invaders and the US government, he has to use his powers to outsmart Dreadnite before he destroys Earth and conquers the galaxy.
These first four issues cover the origin story. The fluid narrative needs few breaks for exposition. There are a lot of recognizable outside influences in the story and character design that provide that exposition. The first issue almost follows the opening of the original Star Wars beat for beat. Lord Dreadnite aspires to be Darth Vader by way of Dr. Robotnik. The battle suit resembles the costume for Image Comics’ Invincible, if it were designed by Tony Stark. None of this familiarity steals any enjoyment away from the book. There are wonderfully original moments, such as when Zak uses the suit’s cloaking capabilities to create cooler, new outfits for school.
Zak’s helpful allies include Bruvo, the courageous and mouse-like Rodakian alien who gives him the suit. There is also BB, short for “bio brain,” which is the artificial intelligence in the battle suit and Zak’s mentor-partner in fighting evil. Zak’s parents are his sages who admonish him to “start relying on your head, not your fists.” Those words are the guiding message of the story. Even with a suit that can do anything, Zak triumphs because he can outsmart his enemies instead of outgun them.
I really like the artwork. It’s distinct and clean. Every page plays with a new layout, but never lacks cohesion. The style would translate to an animated TV show very well. The artist isn’t afraid to combine hand-drawn characters and backgrounds with digital graphic enhancements. Zak sometimes soars over a cartoon cityscape, and sometimes orbits through a photo-realistic outer space. This dichotomy best sums up the attitude of the book. It is created for cartoon-minded children as well as reality-minded adults. For both audiences, it delivers.
Arcana Comics' new hero could prove to be for children and ‘tweens what Invincible proved to be for high schoolers. If you love intelligent adventure with a Saturday morning spirit, you might dig Kozmik.
Kozmik is now available for sale on ComiXology.