Collapser #4 – Mikey Way, Shaun Simon; Writers; Ilias Kyriazis, Artist; Cris Peter, Colorist
Ray: The Young Animal line is characterized by ambition above all else, but that ambition has led to both spectacular successes and spectacular failures. In the case of Collapser, a co-written tale of an ordinary young man who inherits a black hole in his chest, it’s a tale of what happens to a superhero who essentially has very little good in him, even by Collapser #4, when his character arc should be in full motion.
Liam was introduced to us as a luckless loser in a dead-end job with a lot of resentment, and he hasn’t improved all that much since he became a superhero. He’s destroyed most of his relationships, seems to only be interested in heroics to boost his profile, and this issue gets a new “ally” in the form of a mysterious woman from space who encourages all his worst instincts. The first influencer superhero? It’s really hard to get into a comic when you would block the lead character on Twitter in 2.2 seconds if you got to know them.
The one major thing this series has going for it is the art, as Ilias Kyriazis proves to be one of the best new art finds out of DC in a while. They can equally cover the grotesque, the surreal, and the mundane, and their villains this issue are entertainingly freakish.
However, the plot quickly veers into the ridiculous when the skull-faced villain who was the arch-nemesis of Liam’s mother returns, kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and turning his best friend into a cereal-based madman that goes out of control. I think this comic is trying to do something interesting about rejecting the toxic influences of corrupt parents, through the story of Liam’s father, but it’s bogged down in so much other stuff that it doesn’t really come across and what we get is a jumbled mess of a story that is lifted by its art – but not enough to make a compelling narrative.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.