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‘The Great Machine’
Umex Rising: Lords of The Cosmos, Chapter 1, by Dennis Fallen, Jason Lenox, and Jason Palmatier
© 2015 James LaFond
2015, Ugli Studios Presents #3, pages 1-16
“The Planet Aiden: a tranquil and idyllic gem in the blackness of the cosmos,” is the setting for Lords of the Cosmos. In this first installment the reader gets the overview of the planet, from the heights of establishment culture down to the depths of corruption, personified by the rogues’ gallery of 23 villains arrayed against the king and queen and their administration. The ‘good guys’ in this setting are depicted as establishment power-holders on the order of a European monarchy, supported by functionaries who are a mix of ghostly Catholics and Chinese communists.
The single picture of the ruling elite interweaves three universal ethics to depict an all-encompassing social-material engine, administering a realm of great outward beauty with dark regions of despair and pollution increasingly distant from the seat of power. Aiden is a nice concise metaphor for our current reality.
As a reader I found myself partial to the cause of the bad guys, as did the publisher, obviously, for they are depicted on the cover. I don’t know if Bonesaw of Mindozer is more to my liking as grind it out villainy goes. There are truly horrific villains as well, one a biological weapon and the other an intelligent toxic waste bin.
Chapter 1 is essentially half the background for what looks to be an extensive serial. The feel of the setting is equal parts space opera, pulp science-fantasy, and superhero. The science-fantasy aspect is what grabbed me, with the isolated planet beset with internal turmoil and as yet unknown perils secreted in its vastness.
In the first issue of Lords of the Cosmos, Ugli Studios has set forth a gritty alternative to the jingoistic American consumer based superhero genre, by creating a fantasy setting fraught with a deep festering iniquity.
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