Magic is always a source of good stories in comics, with outlandish characters and colorful spells filling every panel on every page. However, the occult is a different type of magic, one seen as a lot darker and something Ken Reynolds now attempts to imbue into his new supernatural comic, Cognition, which follows an unlikely duo seeking out the mystical for the British Government. But can Cognition bewitch readers or will it end up being banished?
Publisher: Ken Reynolds Comics
Writer: Ken Reynolds, David Hailwood (Editor)
Artist: Sam Bentley (Art), Ken Reynolds (Letters)
Price: Purchase issue #0 for £3.50 from the Cognition website, with issue #1 to be released soon.
Cognition follows the adventures of Cal and Sigma, two agents of the mysterious Occult Secret Service who travel throughout Britain to investigate and battle the mysterious and dangerous monsters and demons looking to enter our world. However, what sets these two apart from their counterparts is their appearance and their dynamic as Cal, a human spirit inhabiting a robot, and Sigma, a demon inhabiting a rat, work both together and against each other, not only defending the British Isles but battling each other for dominance and possibly the ultimate prize, Cal’s body.
Ken Reynolds has forged an incredibly captivating read with Cognition, producing a story which looks and feels every bit the horror story the occult theme imbues. The best part is the characterisation of the title’s leads, with both Cal and Sigma coming across as very interesting characters in their own right but also in their shared dynamic. No where is this better encapsulated than in their conversations with each other as Cal and Sigma demonstrate their moral leanings through their shared link. Of course, this is only part of the draw as Reynolds also provides a good depiction of the Victorian setting as well as giving the book a dark supernatural vibe, which feels more in keeping with what the subject matter should come across like.
Of course, the art also goes a long way towards the creepy tone of the book as Sam Bentley provides visuals which have an unsettlingly gorgeous appeal, similar to the Limbo video game but with a more steampunk vibe. Every panel is moody and atmospheric and contains a fantastic use of shadows to really suit the story as well as produce some fantastic reveals of various demons and monsters. There is a slight drop in consistency which comes from Cal and Sygma battling a demon in a mirror, where the style really falters and events come off confusing. However, that is but a small quibble when compared to the terrific art of Cognition as a whole.
With terrific, fully fleshed characters driving some truly atmospheric stories and gorgeous gothic art, Cognition is a really great comic which feels truly unique compared to anything currently in comics. This may not be to everyone’s tastes but whoever gives this comic a go will not regret it, and may even need an exorcist to get unhooked from it.