It doesn’t seem like a popular trend to make the main protagonist in your comic book a genuinely nice guy, such as Liam James in Collapser #1. I’m not dense there will always be the genuine all-American nice guy Superman, your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, most of the energetic Flash incarnations, and so many more A-List optimists dressed in colored tights. But these characters can feel a bit cartoonish sometimes, almost nice for the sake of being nice. Writers Mikey Way and Shaun Simon, artist Ilias Kyriazis, colorist Cris Peters, and Simon Bowland with letters team up to create something new, a genuinely anxious-nervous too-nice guy and an all-around solid introduction to the world of Collapser.
Collapser #1 centers around soon-to-be hero Liam James receiving a package that turns out to be a black hole that seemingly changes the world around him. Writers Way and Simon do an adequate job of setting the world around James, but very much excel at making him feel real.
Throughout James’s inner monologue during his work shift, he is determined to play a game of chess with his elderly patient, Mr. Edgar. Even in his monologue during his DJ setlist, he is coaxing himself through it- reassuring himself to keep his anxieties at bay. Even as he gets into a fight with his girlfriend, he is stating how is making the right choice.
The use of the monologs sell how introspective and anxious Liam is, and it draws a sharp distinction between the more cocksure or stoic nice guys of more popular books. In a word, Liam is simply real compared to his contemporaries, someone you could imagine struggling in this world. Unfortunately, there was not as much information on the rest of the chapter regarding the rest of the plot. Most of this issue was dedicated to the introduction of Liam and his situation.
Due to this singular focus, it can get confusing as to what exactly the black hole does. It seemingly allows him to speak to people that are dead, but that feels empty and punchless so it cannot possibly be it.
Kyriazis’s lines are detailed and expressive. His style can come off a tad cartoonish, which meshes well with the nice-guy attitude Liam has, but when Kyriazis is allowed to run wild on splash pages is where he shows his stuff. At Liam’s DJ set, people are dancing, making out, and just jamming and Kyriazis fits right at home depicting the hectic chaos of the event. His quieter scenes feel sterile and plainer in comparison. Cris Peter’s colors add to the cartoony elements of the story. Peter uses deep blues and reds with frequency, and it compliments Kyriazis’s splash panels very well.
It’s hard to not like a chapter when it’s sole purpose is to set up its main character as a nice relatable guy. Luckily, Mikey Way and Shaun Simon succeed at bringing Collapser’s hero Liam James to life and Kyriazis and Peter’s combine to bring the mood and overall vision to the forefront. Collapser #1 does nothing but inspires for the future of the series.