Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez’s new mind-bending series FBP (formerly Collider) continues with this quieter, more contemplative issue five.
After the intriguing ending of the opening arc of this brand new series, Oliver takes a break from the wild and weird for some much needed character development. We learn much more about protagonist Adam and his family, as well as his father’s mysterious demise. With the physics-hunting business having gone public, this issue also explores the ramifications with regards to the future of the Federal Bureau of Physics. The connections between the fictional FBP and the current political climate and debate over the Affordable Care Act are keenly felt, keeping the plot topical without being overly preachy.
Adam’s interactions with his Uncle Eli, as well as his research into his father’s studies, are well written and enjoyable. Oliver does a good job fleshing out the character and making him feel relatable. While the opening arc of this series was light on plot and heavy on whacky visuals and crazy physics bending, issue five is clearly meant to endear Adam’s plight to the reader and in that way, it gracefully succeeds.
FBP #5 is not without intrigue, however, as the implications of a public market for physics-based insurance and protection is explored. A new character is also introduced, just in time for the cliffhanger! Although it’s slightly cliché, it does open up the series in potentially interesting ways. Time will tell if this will pay off, however.
Rodriguez proves that his artwork isn’t just suited for the esoteric. His character work is subdued in this issue; befitting of the story being told. The artwork is interesting and well done, even when it involves two characters just sitting around, smoking and talking. Rodriguez does, however, get to stretch his wings a bit, as his rendition of the “quantum tornado” is excitingly well done.
None present with this particular issue. Though the story has taken awhile to develop its characters, the payoff present in this issue makes the previous four worth the ride. It’s clear now that Oliver has a direction for this series.
FBP #5 is an excellent, character-driven issue. Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez deliver a well written and pencilled, pleasantly subdued, character study that will hopefully set the stage for the next arc to come.