Tales of the Outerverse with Cojacaru the Skinner

19 May

3006049By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Hose Comics
Available Now

Masters of Comic Book Horror Mike Mignola and Chris Golden have an alternate history fantasy horror universe I’d love to see get a cinematic treatment. There were plans for it once, but it was abandoned; nothing’s been done to bring it back into production since. Their series which began with Baltimore (2007) has everything I’d love to see when turning World War II into a Weird War.

Anyone who knows Joe Golem will have a leg up, and coming soon is Imogen of the Wyrding Way and The Golem Walks Among Us. With Cojacaru the Skinner #2 out today, this two issue mini-series makes a lot more sense than as individual issues.

This seminal hero is a different type of King Arthur. She’ll arise from the dead (in Europe’s darkest hour) to defeat the dark forces that’s tearing this continent apart. The Nazis are well known for their interest in using the supernatural to conquer the world and I’m loving how Mignola and Golden have a concept that’s reminiscent of Sergei Lukyanenko‘s Night Watch.

In this self-contained work, The Hexenkorps, a group of evil witches serving Nazi Germany, lay siege to a not-so-quiet French town. The citizens look to creating their own white magic to summon Cojacaru, a witch hunter from some centuries back. The first issue didn’t offer much and I think this presentation would’ve been better as a one-shot double-sized comic. In part two, her origins are well explained. It’s not a complete back-story, and I suspect I’ll have to pull out my other books to get reminded of what I’ve forgotten from other tales. Skipping a few stories is okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. 

This series has everything I suspect Universal wanted to do with their Monsterverse and failed. They wanted to bring the famous trio (at least) to the modern world. Instead, they should’ve stuck to when these monsters from folklore were born, and build to their eventual confrontation. This comic book series sees townships lost in bygone times, and this setting is what got me interested in picking up the odd tale or two. I just have to be careful in which collections I should buy so I don’t miss a beat.

This issue is an okay jumping in point to sample this universe. After rereading both issues and grooving to this Evil Dead style narrative, I’ll have to visit those other works I’ve missed to get all caught up on all that’s transpired. 

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