Cosmo: The Mighty Martian #2 Is Fun From Beginning To End

by James Ferguson

Cosmo is stressed as his best bud, Orbi is in the evil clutches of Battle Princess Shih. Who knows what kind of untold horrors the poor guy is going through? As the crew searches the stars for Orbi, Cosmo is hit with a vision showing him the path forward, but it comes with an ominous tone.

It’s rather fitting that someone named Cosmo is getting cosmic visions, don’t you think? The young adventurer has used these to win parlor games, but nothing this major before. Now he’s able to put these skills to the test to save his friend. Discounting that this is a bit of a deus ex machina approach to tracking down Orbi, it is a pretty fun method. Writer Ian Flynn brings a light, youthful energy to every aspect of Cosmo: The Mighty Martian and this is no different.
The jokes are moving at a mile a minute in this issue. It seems Flynn and artist Tracy Yardley are in a competition over the amount they can fit in between the quips in the dialogue and the sight gags. One favorite of mine is the design for Cronus Aerial Base which is a big salad bowl. This is fitting since the guards are mutated vegetables.

Cosmo doesn’t subdue his enemies with lasers or brute force. Instead, he snaps them out of their trance with mustard and ketchup. Max, the lone earthling jokes that his mother never liked it when he put those on his salads. I’m sure every kid can identify with wanting to put ketchup on everything. Hell, I still do. This light-hearted comedy is what makes Cosmo: The Mighty Martian stand out as a fun all-ages title.
Yardley really ups the art direction game in this issue. The panel layouts are varied and get more chaotic whenever the action picks up. This is a great touch that adds to the overall reading experience. Changes like this alter the pacing, speeding things up during fight scenes and then slowing them down during the more exposition-heavy sequences.

Flynn has some help with his jokes from letterer Jack Morelli, who emphasizes key words to add some additional flair, not to mention the occasional variation in font or word balloon type. This helps drive home a heated emotion or a bit of exasperation in just the right spots.
Colorist Matt Herms keeps fills Cosmo: The Mighty Martian with bright, vibrant colors, fitting for the sci-fi adventure it is. Even the scenes in shadow that convey a more foreboding tone are full of life and color. For example, we know that Orbi is being held captive, but not necessarily what’s happening to him while he’s a prisoner. As an adult, we can imagine the worst torture imaginable, but it’s much more tame than that. Herms plays with this dread, showing him in darkness at first and then pulling back to show everyone that the character is a little shaken, but otherwise fine.

With how easy Cosmo seems to rescue Orbi, I have to wonder if this was all part of Shih’s plan. Is there another shoe ready to drop as the series continues? We’ll have to wait and see on that front. This could also just be my jaded adult feelings warping my perspective on a wholesome all-ages comic. It’s refreshing to read a book that’s free of the usual doom and gloom. Cosmo: The Mighty Martian is just plain fun from beginning to end.
Cosmo: The Mighty Martian #2 from Archie Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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