Mikey Way, the brother of Doom Patrol’s Gerard Way, and Shaun Simon introduce a new character, Liam James, who winds up becoming Collapser (the Collapser?) by the end of this first issue. With art by Ilias Kyriazis, this is a fairly low key debut, but that is not a criticism.
Most of the issue is devoted to exploring the relatively unpleasant life of Liam. He is a compassionate guy, as we see in his scenes of his daytime job, tending to seniors at a retirement home. He has aspirations of something better for his life, and that is taken care with his night job, as a disc jockey. His girlfriend, Jocelyn, has netted him a gig, and a big promoter is coming to the event. This could be life changing for Liam.
And yeah, it is a life changing day, but not in the way the poor guy was hoping.
Towards the start of the issue Liam answers the door, forgetting that he is only wearing his underwear, and receives a package that he largely ignores as the day plays out. But we see the package gain black spots on it, which grow as the day goes on. This is linked to an opening scene, set on what seems to be an alien world, and what appears to be a sentient darkness. The darkness is drawn to Liam, and winds up ruining the big party he is performing at.
And that’s when things kick into high gear.
Poor Liam really has no idea what happens to him during the course of the tale, when the blackness gets absorbed by his body. And because of that, the reader is left somewhat in the dark as well.
But that’s fine. That means that the hero and the reader are essentially in the same situation, and as Liam learns about what is going on, so will we.
There are some curious changes that take place after Liam becomes the Collapser. He isn’t called that in this issue, but since it’s the title, I feel pretty safe using the term to describe him. Just enough mystery to keep one’s interest piqued.
But honestly, it’s not the super powered stuff that really engaged me. I mean, I enjoyed it, and the visuals really kick ass. But I found myself more impressed with Liam’s everyday life parts of the tale. He is a character I already genuinely care about, and am interested in. The super powers are just the icing on the cake.
It’s an impressive first issue, and hopefully bodes well for an interesting ongoing book.