When I finished Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer what seems like forever ago (but not so long ago), I was left with something nagging at me. The story was brought to a conclusion, a sort of melancholy middle ground, but it didn’t feel complete. Over the last year, Lemire has continued tapdancing around the Black Hammer universe, bringing new characters into the fray, dealing with the same characters in the near past or distant future. It has been a remarkable world building experience, especially with all the amazing talent he’s brought on to help create this world. To what end, has been the question. Where is all of this leading? Why spend all of this time on these stories – just for a laugh, to cash in? Obviously not, Lemire isn’t a cynical creator. He’s a genuine writing talent. So, then, to what end?
I don’t know if Colonel Weird: Cosmagog will answer that question, but it is dealing with one of those things that was left nagging at me: “But what about Colonel Weird?”
Like many of the characters that litter the Black Hammer universe, there is a sadness about Weird. There is something that he’s searching for to complete who he is, and in doing so, hopefully find again what he calls “the pattern,” an answer to the greater story. Weird, as a character, was a space explorer who stumbled upon a doorway that took him into a place between multiverses and sent him throttling this way and that way through time. He essentially became Laplace’s Demon, able to see all and know the outcome of everything. Of course, that’s enough to drive a man insane. In Cosmagog, we’re seeing the outcome of that unraveling.
Lemire isn’t doing it alone; he brought along Tyler Crook who painted the pages of one of my recent favorite comics, Harrow County. Once again, Crook brings imagery to the table that is both remarkably beautiful and at the same time effectively terrifying. The image of Anti-God barreling through Spiral City alone is worth the price of admission. Even Crook’s lettering feels lonely and lost, word balloons trapped in open space.
Wherever Lemire wants to take me on this path through Colonel Weird’s broken mind, his past, his present, and his future, I’m on board.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Tyler Crook (art and letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt (Assistant Editor), Ethan Kimberling (designer), Josie Christensen (digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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