If you like your comic books quizzical, you might just love Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook’s Colonel Weird: Cosmagog series. The four-part series comes to an end this week and sees its main hero find some resolution to a life that hasn’t totally made sense. The series has shown this character lives life at all times during the past and present, which has allowed the creators to explore a long life filled with adventure, but one that is solitary and alone.
To explain this finale in one word, you’d have to call it touching. The first half of the issue resolves much of the conflict while giving Colonel Weird time to work with his other selves. Events that take place between an older version of Colonel Weird and his super team, and a moment with his wife, come together in a universe shattering moment. This moment leads to a revelation, which allows the second half of the book to have a happy ending.
That ending is emotional and all about Colonel Weird finding something to make himself whole. As a character unstuck from time and constantly confused, it’s an emotional turn of events that solidifies his status as a man who can find a home with the right partner. Ultimately this issue and the series is about finding the things that make you whole and make you happy. Colonel Weird ends this issue in an exciting way as his story is not yet done and there’s much more adventure to be had.
The art by Crook is great at exploring space and volume. Layouts are used to show a breaking in reality and in each panel there’s a sense of the gravity at the moment that’s unmistakable. Be it great pain and sadness, the stakes of all reality and the cosmos being in danger, or great shame of forgetting something that means the world to you, the visuals tap you into the emotional state of the character and the world. There are pages in this book that will stick with you and that’s all due to Crook’s skill.
This book does not stand alone and shouldn’t be read without reading the first few issues. The story here is confused on purpose and making sense of the conflict that kicks off the second half will be lost on many. For that, this book reads like it should be read in one sitting with the previous chapters. Much like Colonel Weird’s life, this is part of a whole that should be taken in altogether and not in chunks.
This is a deeply emotional and touching finale to the Colonel Weird miniseries. Colonel Weird: Cosmagog is an example of how comics can do things with storytelling no other medium can, as demonstrated by two of the best in the business today.
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