Review - Cosmo #1 (@ArchieComics)

"Sweet Juniper that's bright!"

Space exploration brings with it its own ups and downs. The ups are finding new planets and species while the downs are figuring out whether they're out to get you. In Cosmo #1 from Archie Comics, there's a little bit of it all. The issue is written by Ian Flynn, illustrated by Tracy Yardley, colored by Matt Herms and lettered by Jack Morelli.

Cosmo is a Martian with the skills of a warrior and a heart of gold. He’s the leader of his M.A.R.S. unit that explores the solar system. What was meant to be a routine scouting mission turns into a much larger adventure Cosmo and his friends stumble upon a panicked human and encounter some ferocious foes!

Flynn knows that Cosmo #1 is very much an all-ages comic and the characters are presented in a way that enforces that. Cosmo as a main character is pretty likable, with Flynn infusing him with a childish zeal that's balanced by making pragmatic decisions. The rest of the cast fills out pretty well and the conflict in the issue is pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things. The plot does feel a little rushed at times with Flynn forcing some characterization of the players; for instance, Max Strongjaw feels a little too naive at times. That's not a knock on the story, but it feels as if Flynn is crashing through some of the basic set-up stuff to get to the meat.

Yardley's artwork in the book is brilliantly done. Yardley illustrates the characters with soft curves that somehow evoke sharper lines, offering a look that's a nostalgic take on older concepts of space travel. The costumes are an homage to a different era, but Yardley still manages to make them look functional and effective for the context of the story. There's also an abundance of insets and overlays that keep the book's visuals moving freely, fitting Yardley's stylistic approach. Herms' colors are bright and vivid, further providing an all-ages appeal to the work.

Cosmo #1 is a very airy and light comic book that will likely skew younger in audience appeal. Cosmo and his crew are likable enough and excited to explore the corners of the universe. Flynn's script is fast-paced and easy to enjoy. Yardley's illustrations are refreshing and don't take themselves too seriously. Cosmo #1 is a lot of fun.

Cosmo #1 is available January 3.