Comic Vine Review


Collider #1 - The Paradigm Shift, Part One Review


Up isn't up anymore. Down isn't down, either. And gravity? Yeah...

The Good

If science is the new rock 'n roll, physics is my jam right now. "Surreal alt-science" isn't a phrase that I expected to use in a comic review, but I'm not even sad that I'm using it. COLLIDER brings some really trippy ideas to how we think about the so-called laws that define the world, and it does it in a far more earnest way than sci-fi or superhero books that just take our suspension of disbelief for granted.

The setup is formulaic, but not to the point of cliche. It's a first issue, so there are certain things to be expected. We've got a glimpse of the past -- a time that represents the old normalcy -- and an open plot thread about Adam's father (I mean, I started getting concerned for his welfare in the second panel, so I'm primed for a terrifyingly interesting story), a charming meet-cute that introduces our hero, an immediate disaster that the main cast has to solve, a little bit of hinting at a less-than-upright arrangement between Jay the Senator, and a massive, glowy, possibly-alt-dimensional cliffhanger. Plenty of material to expand upon, and plenty of opportunities for things to get weird. I hope they get weird.

Artist Robbi Rodriguez plays with perspective and line in a way that makes perfect sense for a world where the laws of physics aren't so much laws as suggestions. Clever angles and exaggerated facial expressions help us get to know more about the characters, and muddled, swirly shapes kick things into surreal territory when the plot wants us to be there. The physics-disruption panels are the sequential equivalent of the surrealist parts of I Heart Huckabees rolled into a tense action flick -- they're weird, and messy, and exactly right.

Rico Renzi's colors pop in a most excellent way -- it's rare to see hot pink used so frequently and effectively, and I'm really into that choice. I'm also really into colors that aren't over-rendered, and Renzi's play well with Rodriguez's lines.

The Bad

I love being dropped into the middle of a story, skipping the origin (or saving it for later) and just being immersed in the world. That said, we're dealing with some complex stuff here, and I'd like a tiny bit of a primer on the real-world-adjacent nature of this title -- how the parts of the machine work. We know that 9-1-1 is aware of physics emergencies to the extent that the F.B.P. is as much of an option as the fire or police departments, but I'd like some clarification on how much the general populace is educated on physical anomalies. If only Vertigo books came with extra pages in the back for maps and timelines and physics primers...

The Verdict

Given the right conditions, Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez will launch a spectacularly interesting title. COLLIDER is different and fresh and weird, and I'm totally into it. I can't even begin to tell what the grander story is, but it looks like it's going to be such a fun, surreal journey that I'm willing to forget about the big picture for now, and enjoy the gravity disruptions.

Posted by batmannflash

The Collider, while wasn't as great as The Wake, still manages to hook me in. Go Vertigo! The story is very unique and I'm definitely interested in reading more in the future. And I do agree, that some stuff in this issue I wish I knew more, because it is pretty complex.

Edited by darknightspideyfanboy

this reminded me of the syfy eureka show lol still like it

Posted by Falconer

It's a twenty page comic book. Do you want an actual story, or a excerpt from the Star Trek Technical Manual?

Edited by MissJ

@falconer: I want something like what Image tends to do -- extra pages at the end with neato contextual stuff that doesn't have to be organic to the storytelling, and is thus suited to an appendix. LAZARUS and EAST OF WEST do this quite well. Vertigo could get away with that, I think.

Edited by Falconer

@missj: I haven't read either of those books, so I can't comment on them. But in context of Collider, not nearly enough was revealed (in the first issue) to justify anything like that. In the opening flashback there was mention of a "quantum tornado", but that's so generic they might as well have said it was a sharknado. A fifth grader can comprehend a gravity failure. And finally, the main character and his boss touched on the vortex. I don't see the problem here.

Edited by MissJ

@falconer: A fifth grader can comprehend what a gravity failure means, but that's not what I'm looking for. Since these things are insinuated as being "normal" (as normal as anomalies can be), I want a baseline for how the regular people in that world understand physics to work/not work. It's something we might get in future issues, but the control state of how the world works felt glossed here.

Posted by Falconer

@missj: Again, I think you're expecting too much/an unnecessary amount of content from the first issue. We're introduced to the idea that not only is there an official government organization in the US to handle these situations, but that also 911 dispatchers are trained to deal with these situations. It seems that these situations are so common that the school principal was annoyed that his school would have to be closed because of the problem, and not losing his mind like any of us would.

Given how much time likely passed from the egg dropping video, to the quantum tornado video, to the present it would take multiple pages of a massive info dump that would completely derail the story or take away pages from the story because they were added to the end of the book like how you want. It makes more sense to have that information integrated into the world with interesting stories rather than some stale timeline in the back of the book.

Edited by longbowhunter

I think I liked the set up a little more than the actual story. Really interested to learn more about the past and how things fell apart. I've been pretty luke warm on Robbi Rodriguez in the past but I think he's a great fit for this series. Rico Renzi's colors only help push that idea along.

Posted by StretchPants

I just hope 'physics' covers more problems than just gravity. Otherwise it's a silly term to use.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@stretchpants: considering what happens at the end why did you even ask that question?

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Love Vertigooo

Edited by StretchPants

@jonny_anonymous: Considering I didn't ask a question, why did you make that statement?

Admittedly, I read it while I was tired. Re-read the book and stand corrected.

Still don't like the use of the word 'physics'... reminds me of the movie 'Source Code.' Great movie, but it's such a vague term it made me frustrated.

Posted by Al_capOWN
Posted by batmannflash
Edited by Jake Fury

Just grabbed the trade for this. first 7 issues for $10, why do I even mess around with Marvel or DC anymore? (and yes, I realize Vertigo is a DC imprint...)