Collapser #2, titled “It’s a Bad Day, Liam James,” is published DC’s Young Animals, an imprint of DC Comics, written by Mikey Way, and Shaun Simon, with art by Ilias Kyriazis, colors by Cris Peter, and letters by Simon Bowland. Previously, we witnessed the birth of Liam James as the Collapser. Via intergalactic mail, Liam’s estranged Mother sent him a portable black hole that preceded to take root in his chest. When he was challenged by an unknown mercenary from space, the black hole activated and teleported Liam to Stone Henge, England.
Collapser #2 immediately picks up in the same location, as Liam precariously stands on the edge of losing his mind. Sadly, the events of the issue do nothing to help him stabilize, as conditions go from bad, to utterly deranged. Liam’s new power transports him across time, space, and even in and out of the underworld. Our protagonist has a front-row seat as the universe peels back the fabric of reality and unveils an intense amount of its secrets.
The story in Collapser #2 highlights the duality of what Liam is experiencing, as those around him question his sanity as he rants and raves about demons, and monsters. His descent into a state of “madness” is illustrated perfectly, and as you read along you begin to wonder yourself how this story will play out for poor Liam. It’s worth noting while talking about the illustrations that Kyriazis details out some mind-altering, trippy, and extremely graphic situations. So beware if you have a soft stomach. That being said, the entire issue is beautifully illustrated and I adore the acid trip like sequences as Liam blips in and out of time and space in a full-page spread near the beginning.
Given the crazy, cross-dimensional visuals we are gifted, Peters rises to the challenge in the colors of the issue. The palettes of Liam’s nightmarish visions are so clearly observable and contrast nicely with the regular reality experienced by everyone else around Liam.
Bowland has a lot of dialogue to work within this issue and balances it well. I was particularly keen on his identification of Liam’s inner monologue, however, one thing felt like it was missing. When Liam transitions into ‘Collapser’ the issue could have been strengthened by discerning a different style so as to separate the alien-like consciousness. Much like we’re used to seeing between and Eddie Brock and Venom in the Marvel universe.
It has to be said, Way and Simon have tapped into a really exciting property here. Liam James is in no way ready to handle the power of this magnitude, which shreds his frail mental health to tatters immediately. The authors push and pull the story in and out of these psychosis-like states that leave you with empathizing with Liam as he’s barraged with these deranged situations. The pacing of this issue is full throttle weirdness with a side of paranoia for good measure.
The ending of this issue is far too tantalizing, as you finally start to see Liam grasp tightly onto some semblance of sanity, madness explodes all over the pages. This series shouldn’t be approached lightly, however, if you want a rollercoaster ride of dementedness, then you’ve arrived at the perfect property.
Collapser #2 is available wherever comics are sold.
This series shouldn’t be approached lightly, however, if you want a rollercoaster ride of dementedness, then you’ve arrived at the perfect property.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.