Writers: Mikey Way and Shaun Simon
Artist: Ilias Kyriazis
Colorist: Chris Peter
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics/ Young Animal
DC's Young Animal imprint brings us the world of COLLAPSER and it is very cool. It's funny because our protagonist Liam James thinks he's both the coolest and un-coolest person on this planet. It makes for an interesting superhero set up, a man with lots of internal anxiety issues. Liam is such a relatable millennial, it hits me right in the gut.
He is sent a mysterious package and due to his busy life, forgets about it. However, this box is covered in a weird, mysterious black gunk that is spreading at a fast rate. As this is happening, we witness who our character is by hearing his internal dialogue as he works. He’s a nurse for elderly patients and nothing ever seems to go right for Liam. All he wants to do is make his big break in the music world as a DJ, but nursing pays the bills. It makes me feel empathetic towards him. Liam is trying his best to balance his life. It’s just him and his emotions and his emotions tend to get the better of him. On top of his already anxious mind is this otherworldly experience he’s having that he thinks is a dream. How can he balance all of that and try to feel sane? I feel like Way and Simon presents a very emotionally grounded way for a hero to experience and internalize the weird stuff that’s happening to him. However, I think Way’s heavy use and reliance on Liam’s inner dialogue is the biggest strength and flaw of this book. Way managed to let us know exactly who Liam is and how he feels and that’s awesome but it does come off as repetitive and wordy. The dialogue is written with a lot of “fuck’s” and “shit’s” spread across these bubbles. I found it to be excessive and unnecessary. It felt as if the same idea was reworded on the same page a couple of different times. It was distracting to the point where I had to take a break and then go back to it. Seeing as this is the first book he’s written, I’m not too upset because he has a lot of well-presented ideas further on.
Moving to art and coloring, I am a big fan of how this book is designed. The art done by Kyriazis is detailed and expressive. There is a lot of nuisance to the scenery. Buildings have graphic art on it, the night club scene has detailed flyers on its walls, background characters all look unique and different… all of this tells me that the creators felt immersed in the world they were building. It pays off because I felt immersed in their world. That sentiment is strongly supported by the lovely coloring scheme that Chris Peter chose. There are a lot of muted browns, blues, and greys to symbolize the confusion and internal struggle of Liam. When Liam feels cool and self-assured we get these bright indigos, purples, and greens. Everything that our main character feels is reflected well. It has a high fantasy, science fiction feels to it.
Even though the writing isn’t as concise as I would like, Mikey Way and Shaun Simon present a very likable character experiencing a very otherworldly experience (no spoilers from me for this review). There is plenty of good art to look through with some very unique
coloring. For an issue one, it's drawn me in enough to see where this goes. This weird little tale of an anxious superhero has found a great home with the Young Animal imprint. The only way to go now is up and I am excited to tag along on Liam’s ride.