I'm literally squeeing so hard because of this announcement:
I can’t remember how I discovered this amazing comic.
I just know that it was exactly what I was looking for when I found it.
The art: Stunning.
The description: “For this ragtag band of space gays, liberation means beating the patriarchy at its own game.”
Sign. Me. Up.
And once I started reading, I couldn't get enough. I was stoked for every single update back in 2019. (It was first launched as a webcomic before being published as a physical book.)
So what makes Cosmoknights so magical?
I'm gonna be real here—and some people might judge me for it, but whatever...
You know how they say, "don't judge a book by its cover"? Well, I definitely judge books by their cover, especially with comics.
Call me superficial.
I didn't get into comics until I was a young adult. Yes, I was a nerdy kid and comics always seemed like something I should get into. And I wanted to! BUT a big barrier to entry for me (besides money) was the art. The ultra-masculine/for-the-male-gaze style just didn't appeal to me.
Even when I did start reading comics, it wasn't really for the art. My entry into comics was Watchmen and Y: The Last Man. I recognized and respected the quality of the work, but it was the stories that drew me in.
Over the last decade, art styles in comics have diversified—at least, from the perspective of a comics noob. (I realize there have always been talented indie creators out there.) I started to get into more titles as a result as I found loads with art I really really like to go along with superb narratives, e.g., Saga. Giant Days, and Kim & Kim.
But when I stumbled upon Cosmoknights, I was like... this is my all-time favorite comic art style!
This space adventure is a romp.
I know this is a weird comparison, but the joy I felt reading it was kind of like watching Pacific Rim. (Actually, maybe it’s because of the mech suits that are very Jaeger-like.)
There’s nothing quite like the pure emotions that flood your system when you get lost in a new world, disbelief suspended, mouth ajar in amazement, ready to just enjoy the ride.
Escapism. It’s the promise of sci-fi.
That doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games though, after all, it’s all about smashing the patriarchy. The characters are all dealing with various internal and external conflicts.
The world is stunning.
The galaxy of Cosmoknights is a “neo-medieval” patriarchy with a dash of cyberpunk and 80s style. It’s not the most progressive place, but I still want to visit and tour this universe because Hannah Templer creates A WORLD!
If you read that description and wonder how it can all possibly tie together, it does. Wonderfully. The mish mash of retro Earth plus space reminds me of Star Wars in regards to a fictional galactic civilization being advanced in some ways and super archaic in others.
I’m no expert talking about art and colors, but let me just say that the settings are all brilliantly rendered in vibrant colors. The full-page spreads are absolutely jaw-dropping.
The cast is awesome. And they have impeccable style!
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Can it be a queer story without a found family?
Well, Cosmoknights definitely meets that criteria, and we get to spend time with a charming group of individuals.
Like many space operas, Pan is a protagonist in the vein of Luke Skywalker. Small home world. Yearns for the stars. Something happens that starts her off on her hero’s journey. We, the audience, learn more about the universe through her eyes as she takes her first steps “into a larger world.”
There’s Bee and Cass, an ass-kicking (literally) couple who compete as cosmoknights. I won’t spoil why cosmoknights exist and why this duo are competing in these contests, but the backstory is some of the most impactful parts of the narrative.
Then, there's Kate. Again, I won't spoil anything, but you're gonna love her!
Also, can we talk fashion? Seriously, the cast are badass, and they do it while looking good. They are my style icons. Just saying, my wardrobe may or may not just be Cosmoknights cosplay in the future. Who knows?
>>>>> You can read Cosmoknights Book One online here. (And Book Two on June 4! That's like less than a month away... OMG. OMG. OMG.)
Also, check out Hannah Templer's other work. It's so good! Like, look at the Doctor, Lara Croft, and the women of GLOW below...
If I could afford it, I'd buy ALL of her prints.
Honestly, I can't express how much I LOVE the artwork. OK, enough gushing...