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Cosmic Odyssey (DC Comics, 1988 #1-4)

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on, ‘cause we’re going to space!

After making it his life’s mission to find the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid discovers that Anti-Life is a sentient being—and it’s hungry. To stop it from devouring the universe, he enlists the help of heroes from Earth and New Genesis—Superman, Batman, Starfire, Jon Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Orion, Lightray, and Forager*. Saving everything comes down to whether they can trust each other long enough to stop Anti-Life from breaking out of its home dimension.

Cosmic Odyssey is a fun book, and it reminds me of an episode of Justice League Unlimited in the best possible ways. It brings in characters who don’t always get much attention. It takes those characters seriously. And it chooses to focus on specific pairings of characters and their relationships. And those decisions are what makes the book an enjoyable, engaging read in 2017. The individual plot beats are pretty predictable, but the interactions between pairs of characters are the most interesting parts of the book and keep it moving.

I hesitated to talk about Cosmic Odyssey so soon after Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment, because Mike Mignola pencilled both titles. But while his style is recognizable in the book, he—in conjunction with Carlos Garzon’s smooth, clean inks and Steve Oliff’s bright, flowing colors—provides much lighter, more cinematic visuals than much of his other work.

I would love to see DC adapt this book as one of its animated features. It has the character, scope, and sense of fun to make the jump to animation easily—and it would benefit from a chance to have the language updated a little bit. If you want a big, bombastic, superhero romp through space, it’s definitely worth picking this story up.

*By the way, did you know there’s a Forager ongoing called Bug coming out in may from Lee, Mike, and Laura Allred? Because there is, and it will be awesome.  Get on that.

Collected in

  • Cosmic Odyssey (#1-4)


Writer: Jim Starlin | Penciller: Mike Mignola | Inker: Carlos Garzon | Colorist: Steve Oliff | Letterer: John Workman

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