UGLI Studios out of State College, Pennsylvania has broken into the world of science fiction with the debut issue of Lords of the Cosmos.
Created by Jason Lenox, Jason Palmatier and Dennis Fallon, this first issue in what will be an ongoing series is a remarkable homage to the comics and cartoons of the 1980s. It vividly depicts that age of conflict between noble heroes and loathsome villains, aided and abetted by their truly repulsive henchmen.
The story is told in four parts. The first, called Umex Rising, starts with basic exposition. The reader is introduced to the bucolic planet Aiden, where peace rules under the wise and just guidance of King Yuril and Queen Tarim. Life on this idyllic world is sustained by an entity known as the Great Machine, depicted as a series of pipelines and relay stations. In opposition to all this peace and prosperity is the chief antagonist Umex, a grim fiend who appears to be part corpse, part cyborg, and all evil.
With the scene thus set, the story gets down to the fun part – a lengthy and detailed catalog of Umex’s followers, each more gruesome than the last. The wordplay in this segment is as much fun as the artwork is nightmarish. With names like Necronaut, Decaptor, and Lady Obsidia, this motley crew assembles at Umex’s fortress, intent on bringing death and destruction to their utopian planet.
Each of the remaining three stories focuses more closely on a particular bad guy, fleshing out their backstories and providing context. The second story is told from the point of view of one of Aiden’s biowizards. These protectors of the Great Machine use both technology and magic to ensure the continued functioning of their planet’s source of life.
While investigating some leaky pipes, the biowizard encounters a terrorist known as Bonesaw, one of Umex’s disciples. Tracking Bonesaw through the wastelands where the pipes end and beyond, the biowizard realizes that in fact, the Great Machine is not Aiden’s power source, but rather it is the planet itself. Before she has time to process this information, the story ends abruptly as Bonesaw slices her head off with his chainsaw arm.
The third story focuses on Cy-Corn, a cybernetic unicorn. He was once called Horn-Spire and lived in an enchanted forest called the Great Green, but was cast out for rebelling and attempting to usurp authority. Intent on revenge, he sought assistance from Umex, who transformed him into a cyborg. Cy-Corn used his new powers to return to his former home and wreak havoc, raining down graphically depicted destruction.
In the final story, two fishermen discuss the possibility of the continued existence of Shredtooth, Lord of the Nightsea. After discussing his reign of terror, they ultimately conclude that he no longer exists – just as he sneaks up behind one of the men and prepares to maul him to death.
With a full length story and three vignettes, Lords of the Cosmos was a ton of fun to read. The color cover, with faux action figure packaging on the back was a very creative way to contain the black and white mayhem within.
The work that went into this vintage style is amazing, it shows a strong passion for the genre. I am looking forward to seeing issue two which is already in the works. This comic is a must see for fans of vintage science fiction.