Review: COLLAPSER #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Mikey Way and Shaun Simon
Art: Ilias Kyriazis
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Simon Bowland
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
After receiving his mother’s “gift” last issue, Collapser #2 finds Liam James struggling to come to grips with how the “gift” is affecting him. The black hole in his chest takes him to Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids and World War II. It also lead his girlfriend Jocelyn to commit him to a mental institution for professional help.
Collapser #2 is a nice surprise in that it doesn’t go in a direction that would’ve been expected, it is certainly unconventional for the lead character to get committed. It’s also unconventional for the lead character to be so forthcoming to a companion so quickly. High marks to Way and Simon for choosing the unexpected. These elements both contribute to Liam’s growing characterization. Perhaps, the most interesting aspect of Liam’s character that is revealed is the fact that this is not Liam’s first time in treatment for mental health issues. While this current situation is all about no one understanding what’s really going on with Liam, the previous situation may not be quite as simple.
Liam’s trip through time and space? explore the capabilities of his powers. It’s a very powerful tool. There is still some mystery surrounding it, though. Is he actually travelling? Is he experiencing different timelines? Is he seeing possibilities, or is it black hole induced hallucinations? What’s clear is that there are others after him because they want the black hole.
Liam’s “trip” to Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids end disastrously, which fits a well used super-hero learning trope of a new hero learning his powers. What’s really nice is that it goes in a completely different direction once Liam learns that these were not real. He didn’t actually knock over the dolmens, though it does add a bit of humor to the issue.
When Liam gets released after a month of treatment, it’s the latter that he’s faced with. Earth is under attack, the gentle old man from the nursing home where he worked is back from the dead to talk to him and Liam, having just convinced himself he was in need of treatment, realizes he’s got some bigger issues.
This all contributes to the mystery surrounding his powers. There are a couple of flashes that appear to show Liam as a fully formed hero type calling himself Collapser. All of these elements are integral in drawing the reader in and making the central mystery of the story engaging.
No negatives here!
The character building and mystery surrounding Liam’s powers are executed at a very high level making it difficult to imagine a reader wouldn’t want to return next month. Collapser #2 makes some unusual choices that really pay off in making Liam an interesting character with an even more interesting power problem. Don’t let this series get too far along before jumping on!