Locked in a small pocket universe of his memories, can Colonel Weird finally dive deep enough to remember what has been eluding him for so long? Find out in Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 from Dark Horse Comics.
COLONEL WEIRD: COSMAGOG #4
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Tyler Crook
Letterer: Tyler Crook
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 27. 2021
Previously in Colonel Weird: Cosmagog: Randall Weird knows everything that has happened or will happen – except for some crucial thing he has forgotten. Searching for it, he slips through time, experiencing different points of his life from his childhood until the present. He remembers locking his friends in a pocket dimension. He remembers the battle with Anti-God. He knows they have to prevent Black Hammer from fighting Anti-God alone. He remembers that Eve, the love of his life, disappeared. He draws the map he discovered. But the memory he is searching for remains elusive.
WONDERFUL FRAMING OF A NONLINEAR TALE
Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 opens as Randall finishes drawing the map. He walks out of the cave, and he is back at the gas station where the story began, in a small pocket world. It was important to do this, but he still feels lost. He is here with his three previous selves, and even they continue to feel lost.
His young astronaut self takes him to the moment he goes through the portal and returns to Eve, years after leaving her. She is relieved to see him, but she wants to go with him, into the Para-Zone. He doesn’t think this is a good idea but cannot stop himself from taking her hand and taking her there. Then he flashes to the battle with the Anti-God, the desperate and hopeless battle where everything changes. But this time he has a plan, he and Madame Dragonfly (who, I think, looks strikingly like Eve at this moment).
And Randall’s world goes white. He thinks about dreams and memories. This takes him back to his childhood, when already he felt lost and as though he did not fit in, and he had his fears of being alone in life. His mother reassures him and looks around his room and finds the toy she had gotten for him, a symbol that he would never be alone. It is a toy robot. And suddenly everything crystalizes.
This is what he had forgotten – his lifelong companion Talky, the robot who was with him everywhere, through everything, throughout time. He takes off to find her – and she has been feeling lost as well. This pulled things together so perfectly and it brought tears to my eyes. The time traveling is a little weird, but the points Randall is drawn to are all important and by the end, we see that they are all related.
OF LOSS AND REMEMBRANCE
The art of Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 fits the story so well. I particularly appreciate the cover with the homage to The Little Prince – someone else who was lost, and who came from a very tiny planet. I love the way it’s drawn, reflecting the original art but adding the Colonel Weird details (such as the disembodied eyes). Those eyes are another recurring theme. I think details like this are another way the art helps to hold such a nonlinear story together and give it connections that help to guide us along.
The fight with Anti-God ends in a creative way as well. When Madame Dragonfly and Colonel Weird enact their plan, the panels on the page start to break apart from each other. Then there’s a two-page spread with panels that overlap like photographs laid out on a white background. As we look more closely, the white background isn’t plain white; there are smaller panels like other pictures that have been swept out of the way and are falling off in the distance. Then even they are gone until Randall’s memory returns, bringing panels and structure back to the story. It’s a brilliant use of layout and design.
BOTTOM LINE: PEACE AT LAST
Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4 is a structurally interesting story that brings home a wonderful conclusion. It’s bittersweet, but also hopeful and, as with many of the Black Hammer stories, it feels like we are getting a little closer to understanding just what happened.
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Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #4
Colonel Weird revisits his life, spiraling ever closer to an important – the most important – memory.