This month, Collider #1 becomes Federal Bureau of Physics #2?
Collider was the new Vertigo series brought to us by writer Simon Oliver (GEN 13, The Exterminators) and artist Robbi “Don’t Call Me Robert” Rodriguez (Maintenance). Was, because Collider has already changed its comic title in less than a month — perhaps an all-time comic’s record? (Nah!) — to Federal Bureau of Physics, the name of the agency featured in the book.
Talk about breaking the laws of physics! How often does a comic come along in defying such universal laws that it becomes something entirely new by issue #2?! Okay, okay, so it’s just a name change brought on by a rights claim (collision) from another group using the name Collider for their comic.
But fear not, all of the crazy madcap physics-bending fun of the first issue carries over to issue #2.
For those coming to the party late, Collid…uh, Federal Bureau of Physics, or FBP, is about Adam Hardy, an agent of the FBP, whose father — not named Jeff or Matt — appeared to be at the forefront of researching the newly changing laws of the universe. Adam works to solve physics-based emergencies, you know, sort of some crazy-science EMS. He is partnered with Jay Kelly, a veteran of the group who, as we learn in issue 2, became his mentor when he first joined the bureau. He butts heads a bit with the uptight Agent Cicero when he isn’t attempting to meld gravity back together, or, as we again see in issue 2, trying to rescue people from a gravitational inversion.
Thankfully this month, it’s the same game, different name. Things pick up right at the end of #1, where everything seemed to be going to shit minus the giggles. A bubbleverse has popped up and lives are in danger. Cue the heroic John Williams score. This Padre won’t spoil what a bubbleverse is, or how dangerous it could be; but, suffice it to say, it’s an intriguingly newer concept of hard sci-fi — in addition to plenty of other elements introduced — that make this issue one cool read.
That hard sci-fi angle is one of the best things about this comic. Yes, kids you can actually learn something. See, comics ARE important.
Suck it, Sister Mary Catherine from the Third Grade!
Ahem. Sorry. Really though, it teaches without lecturing. Every factoid is in service to the overall groovy gravity gone wrong story.
Oliver develops an array of interesting underlying mysteries in FBP #2, to boot. The conspiracy we first got a glimpse of last issue continues to snake its way throughout right up until the end, with the mystery also spawned from the comic’s main event lending more insight into Cicero’s character. The banter between characters also feels natural, and goes a long way to making them all feel like fleshed-out people instead of mere caricatures. Under Oliver’s pen (or keyboard, probably), each character has a unique voice.
The art on this book is trippy and kinetic. That is to say, it is a perfect fit for a book about the laws of the universe gone awry. Rodriguez’ art has an energy that keeps everything moving even when the characters are standing still. The sketchy nature and wild lines prominent in his style should remind some of Jim Mahfood mixed with the in your face nature of Kirby. Rico Renzi’s colors add the right dose of psychedelic insanity to make the whole thing pop off the page.
If you like fun romps through a world of crazy ideas and can wrap your head around the notion that “Given the right conditions, the impossible’s always possible,” then FBP #2, in a nutshell, is the cool you have been looking for.