It was this week where I told myself that it’s about time I jump into one of these DC’s Young Animal books. You never know when one of those books will randomly become a favorite. Not to mention, sometimes you need books like this to shake things up. Its refreshing when you can jump into a new series debut for a book and not know what to expect from it. That was me when I decided that Collapser would be the first book I took interest in.
As with most stories when someone average stumbles upon the extraordinary, a good portion of this first issue was spent allowing us to get to know Liam James. To even use the word average kind of felt like an understatement after the things we learned about him in this debut. He’s just like any one of us who is just barely scraping by and looking for that big break. I would even say they took it a step further to make him relatable as someone who spends a lot of his time questioning everything that he does. That last part is something that I connected with personally, and it is nice to see that in the characters you read. For those of us like Liam, it doesn’t just stop at questioning the things we do. We question the things we say, the things we think, even overthinking the way we approach conversations before and after. Just that cycle itself is almost maddening. I suppose they also summed up what that is perfectly, anxiety. Though with that said,
Two things really grabbed my attention about Collapser before jumping into this first issue. The first thing was the idea that you could have a character with a black hole in his chest. The other that you could receive a black hole in the mail. As impossible as that should be by scientific standards, it leaves you wondering just how any of this could be. There was a solid explanation for where this black hole came from, why he of all people in the world would be chosen, and why it is dangerous for someone like him to be in possession of it. While there is still plenty of of questions you are left with by the end of the issue, they at least left you with enough to look forward to what the second issue has in store.
It also goes without saying that I was shocked to finally understand the kind of audience these books catered to. It didn’t take long at all to realize that these were mature books, and honestly I can dig that. No matter the publisher, it is always worth it to have books out there with fewer limitations between what you can see within those pages, and what you can read. I don’t think I read that many F-bombs in a single issue, and there was not a single problem I had with it either. When you are someone like Liam James, from the way he was introduced to us, it is only natural that you would be screaming the same things out of shock and confusion too.
What surprised me most about this book was the quality work from this art team. While I had some faint idea as to what we were getting out of the story, I knew absolutely nothing about the way that the interior pages would look. That tends to be the biggest risk you will take on a book when it is from a different imprint. I was glad that after flipping to the first page, there was nothing to worry about from this art team. Solid work from start to finish. Nothing too crazy, but we got solid pencils, great detail in every scene, and colors with depth. With the colors, I particularly found it interesting that they decided to go with a bit of a faded overlay. When you think of superheroes and black holes, you kind of expect flashy. Though the faded look worked as it matched the tone of the story. Aside from this, I enjoyed the creativity in some of the aliens, the way objects popped off of the panels, the style of the panel layout, and let’s not forget the standout presence of the letter which represented Liam’s inner thoughts.
Collapser #1 is indeed a superhero story that could only come from DC’s Young Animal imprint. This creative team took advantage of the room to run wild with an impossible scenario, and the colorful language to capture everything insane about the way that Liam James’ life has been flipped on its head.