Become a member of the Federal Bureau of Physics.
Not only is Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez’s Collider a fun start to a brand-new series of physics gone mad, but the title also spotlights Vertigo Comics’ continued steps towards rejuvenation. The publisher has lost its footing as the home of independent creative comics to Image in the wake of the New 52, but with Collider, Vertigo has discovered a gold mine of impossible concepts and interesting characters that mix well and pack the pages with fun moments.
Within the first few pages of Collider, Oliver breaks our world’s laws of physics and lays the groundwork for a new set of physical rules (or lack thereof) that open the doors of possibly limitless story threads. The world of Collider is far different than our own, with the “Federal Bureau of Physics” existing with as much notoriety as local police and other government organizations. The FBP is responsible for investigating and managing localized disturbances in physics, and in this first issue readers will be treated to an intense sequence where gravity is destabilized in a way that is not only interesting, but is believable in the universe that Oliver is creating, and further offers up a chance to test the strengths of Collider’s characters.
The characters that Oliver begins to build, moreover, are quite diverse in personality, which creates the opportunity for fun banter between the at-odds mentalities. Lead character Special Agent Adam Hardy feels like a cowboy with a heart of gold, a disposition that clashes with the Bureau’s new brand of educated yuppies that call the shots despite their lack of experience. The back and forth between these polar opposite characters is fun, but also disguises a conspiracy waiting to be discovered in future issues of the series.
As fun as the mind-bending physics of Collider is, however, it’s the combined talents of penciler Robbi Rodriguez and colorist,Rick Renzi that make new rules of the series interesting to digest. As Hardy plummets into a hole in gravity, for example, the art team creates a colorful void where light stretches and contorts around the agent that makes the sequence look as interesting as it is exciting. The colors of Collider, moreover, deserve an additional mention due to their vibrancy and tone that makes Collider’s art a definite standout.
Collider is a great addition to Vertigo Comics’ new lineup that will hopefully liven the publisher and restore them to prominence. The “Federal Bureau of Physics” is not only an interesting idea, but one that is ripe for the growth of any impossible idea Simon Oliver can think of. Along with the fresh looking art of Robbi Rodriguez and Rick Renzi, Collider is definitely deserving of investigation.
Simon Oliver (W), Robbi Rodriguez (C), Rick Renzi (C) • DC/Vertigo Comics, $2.99, July 31, 2013.