Review: Cognition #4 (Ken Reynolds Comics)

We’ve previously reviewed all four instalments of Ken Reynolds and Sam Bentley’s steampunk supernatural series, Cognition, and so we wouldn’t miss chance to check out this arc-ending new issue. All four issues featuring the adventures of the living robot and his demonic mouse partner have been stellar, so can this final part round off a terrific story or will it fall at the final hurdle.

Publisher: Ken Reynolds Comics
Writer: Ken Reynolds
Artist: Sam Bentley (Art), Adam Jakes (Art; Uncorked), Ken Reynolds (Letters)
Price: £4.00 from

Cognition continues to follow Cal and Sigma as they are assigned to guard a flock of ravens located in the Tower of London. However, when religious zealots seeking those ravens attack, it falls to all the agents of B.O.S.S. to come together to hold back the attack and defeat the evil demon these zealots intend to release.

Ken Reynolds has once again written a truly addictive and enjoyable story with this latest issue. The writing has a quick pace and enjoyable flow, and the story moves along at a breakneck pace towards its conclusion This really helps cement the sense of urgency in our hero’s actions. As with prior issues, Cognition’s greatest strength is the dynamic between Cal and Sigma. This is best seen in the early part of the issue with the conversation between the just two leads is compelling and insightful, making both more well-rounded with each passing issue. But it’s not just the Cal and SIgma show, as this issue gives greater hints to Maddie and Pope’s characters too. With Pope, in particular, coming across as an intriguing ‘shades of grey’ character and possibly a future villain.

The one downside was again a lack of a recap page, although this may have been done due to the issue’s simultaneous release with its immediate predecessor. However, this is a small quibble compared to a great main story as well as two back ups which hint of future villains and adventures.

Cognition comes to a conclusion

Meanwhile, Sam Bentley’s art remains as strong as the prior issues. Bentley’s steampunk, horror-esque style continues to be one of Cognition’s main USPs. The art continues to improve from issue to issue, with Bentley’s pencils looking sharper than previous instalments and the action set pieces look truly epic and brutal in almost equal fashion. The one downside continues to be the odd panel where the background and foreground seemingly merge. Issue #4 sees this problem in just a single panel, which is a good sign that improvement is occurring, even if it isn’t fully fixed.

With this issue featuring a pair of back up stories, Adam Jakes art for the back-up ‘Uncorked’ is as impressive as the main title’s. Although, the blacks of the inks are not as rich here, Jakes art style has enough of a similarity that it feels in keeping with the rest of the series, while also giving a nice variation. This is capped by the final issue splash which is provided in full colour, giving a hint of the title were it to move away from monochrome.

Cognition #4 is one of those rare things in comics, where the fifth issue feels just as fresh as it did with the opening instalment. It’s great dialogue and gorgeous visuals have gotten better with time, and this finale has capped off a truly remarkable and entertaining title with a fitting ending. If the series were to end here it would have to be considered a must read, although with the hints of things to come by the end, Messrs Reynolds and Bentley would be doing the demon’s work if they don’t offer us more.