Steiner, Steve – Colonel MacTaggart in Colonel Cube
Colonel MacTaggart in Colonel Cube
OK, granted, that cover image makes the lead character look an awful lot like another vaguely cubish character from a ridiculously popular cartoon. Assuming it’s still popular and, as I have no kids, I don’t know that for sure, so I’m talking about Spongebob Squarepants if it’s no longer popular or if you’re somehow reading this in the distant future. But what’s wrong with turning your lead character into a cube? It’s obvious even from the cover that this doesn’t really happen to him, that it’s just a dream, so where’s the harm? Who am I arguing with right now? Anyway, this is the story of a dream of the Colonel. We don’t see the reason for the odd dream until the end, but right away we see the Colonel coming to terms with his new form and learning that this form also allows him to transform other creatures (albeit with unpredictable effects). So our hero transforms a small lizard, turning it into a giant monster, and the monster is then killed by a tribe of “cone savages.” We get some solidly funny dialogue from the Colonel to this tribe, showing the delightful contempt that such explorers often showed for native people back in the day, which leads to their interaction taking a bit of a turn. I’m in danger of giving the whole thing away here, so I’ll just say that the eventual reason for his odd dream was brilliant. It’s a fun and funny book all around, and I’ll always agree with the idea that creatures who look like living candy corn should always be the villain. Oh, and it’s all in full and glorious color, assuming that such things matter to you, and why shouldn’t they?