I was hesitant when I picked up the first volume of Lord of the Cosmos. To be honest I tried to pawn the review of on our other editor Paul. He kicked it right back to me. I was kind of dreading working on it. It just wasn’t my thing. But, by the end – it won me over. I enjoyed it. There was some truly creative and engaging ideas. When I got a hold of the second volume I excited to return to the planet Aiden. I went into volume two curious and hopefully I came out of it a full on fan.
The second volume follows the same format of the first. It is a series of vignettes that are loosely connected by characters and events. Some stories continue a larger narrative while others are more standalone that develop character or mood. This works really well on multiple levels.
The slightly disjointed approach makes it feel like Heavy Metal or Aeon Flux. It also mixes the same sense of science fiction and fantasy as those two properties. It also allows for creative tangents. One of my favorite stories in volume 2 consists of a series of talking heads. Not, TV news personalities mind you, but literal severed heads on shelves having a conversation. It is utterly bonkers but also deeply enriches a character who is barely even in the story. This character story then adds over tones to the overall mythology in other stories. So, this little story that takes place basically in a closet, with characters you’ve never met before adds depth on multiple levels across the entire tale. This subtly complexity on top of just seriously weird $#!t just makes the series deeply satisfying on every level.
In the first volume I had questioned if this was a series for adults of kids – volume two answers that question with stark certainty. Volume 2 ups the ante across the board, more action, more weirdness, more violence and mature content.
Minor Spoilers Ahead.
Lords of the Chaos has so far been a story of villains. It’s like He-Man from the perspective of Skeletor and his minions. Thus the stories are understandably dark. But, volume two ends with some unexpected light – the existence of heroes.
Making the heroes the antagonists and introducing them late in the series works really well. The creators of Lords are by no means the first pull such a literary tick, but they do it well. It also is the first time the story has really felt like it is taking a step in a clear direction. The deeper narrative is starting to form and I for one plan to see where it goes.
Note: Lords of the Cosmos #3 has been fully funded on Kickstarter. WGN was a contributor. Keep an eye out for #4 on Kickstarter.
You can also listen to our chat with creator Jason Lenox here.