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‘Cosmic Detective’ OGN (review)

Written by Jeff Lemire & Matt Kindt
Art by David Rubín
Published by Image Comics


“Good to see you, detective. It’s been a while.”

When a God is murdered, who solves the crime?

In Lemire and Kindt’s Cosmic Detective, the job falls upon our nameless protagonist, a 42-year-old, chain-smoking, ex-military family man.

The impossible has happened: a God has been murdered, a crime threatening to tear the fabric of reality.

The only thing that can save all creation is the detective tracking the culprit and their motivations.

However, the detective soon discovers a greater conspiracy threatening his sanity and hints at an even greater tragedy for the universe if the truth is uncovered.

Cosmic Detective is the lovechild of three of the greatest creators in the comics industry today.

Jeff Lemire is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author and the acclaimed creator of Sweet Tooth, Gideon Falls, and Black Hammer.

Matt Kindt is a Harvey Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author and artist of numerous comics and graphic novels. I can personally recommend his BRZRKR series, co-authored with Keanu Reeves. Kindt’s other work includes MIND MGMNT, Bang!, Revolver, and Pistolwhip. Kindt has been nominated for four Eisner Awards, three Harvey Awards, and the winner of one Harvey Award. Kindt is respected internationally and has published works in French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

David Rubín is a Spanish artist best known for his work on Rumble with writer John Arcudi and Santiago Garcia’s adaptation of Beowulf.

Cosmic Detective is Lemire at his finest and reminds me of his work and concepts found in his Black Hammer books. Kindt and Lemire join forces to create a wild world where our nameless detective encounters a colorful cast of characters in ever increasingly fantastic scenarios and settings that range from mundane parking lots, interdimensional portals located in the trunks of cars, and interdimensional libraries monitored by floating demons.

Rubin’s art complements the story through his visceral, bold, and intense work, which creates a beautiful yet haunting atmosphere that suits the dark noir world created by Kindt and Lemire. Rubín lovingly draws each panel with a sense of scale and awe that increases as the detective becomes further embroiled in this cosmic mystery.

Cosmic Detective is a fun romp in which Lemire envisions a universe secretly run by the Gods inspired by Jack Kirby’s New Gods.

The fact that this is the second book I’ve reviewed recently that is inspired by the work of Kirby and his Fourth World is a testament to Kirby’s imagination and longevity (but I digress).

However, these Gods are not as benevolent as Big Barda, Orion, and High Father, yet they are not as evil as Darkseid, DeSaad, and Granny Goodness. Going into their background further would ruin the nature of the mystery so carefully crafted by Lemire and Kindt.

Unlike the works of J.J. Abrams, who likes to create mysteries without satisfying conclusions, Cosmic Detective solves the puzzle it sets up in a satisfying way that does not upend expectations or leave readers disappointed.

The book is imperfect and does leave at least one central plot point unresolved, but I believe that was the intent.

When a mere mortal deals with a pantheon of Gods, they are lucky to get out alive.

So, despite the one-star deduction for that unresolved point, I can heartily recommend Cosmic Detective.

Final score: 4 out of 5

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