Take some Moon Knight, mix vigorously with Event Horizon, bring to a boil, stir in some Norman Osborne, add travel through time and space for taste and Collapser #2 out this week from DC Comics is what’s for dinner.
With story by Mikey Way and Shaun Simon, art from Ilias Kyriazis, colors by Cris Peter and letters by Simon Bowland, DC’s Young Animal gives their own take on superheroes with mental illness. The vibe of this series reminds me of a Moon Knight story, except this Collapser has way cooler powers.
Collapser blends science fiction horror with dark comedy and Kyriazis’s gorgeous art. Way and Simon take a humorous approach to a story about Liam James, who’s dealing with anxiety and a new black hole in his chest.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW
Collapser #2 opens with our lead character Liam James stranded at Stonehenge. This is already an uncomfortable situation for an anxious person, so after Liam takes out some frustration on the stones of Stonehenge, a tour bus shows up. Finally, Liam can get back to civilization and chill out, but not so fast. As he’s about to board the bus he mentions he should’ve hit the stones harder, and no sooner does it leave his mouth, Stonehenge crumbles to the ground.
After transporting the bus and himself to Egypt, it’s almost as if Liam is one of the unluckiest people on the planet. His frustration and anger seem to trigger his new powers, while just putting himself in a worse situation causing more anxiety and confusion, leading to more frustration and more anger.
Anxiety is an unfortunate and tricky beast to deal with, Way and Simon use it in a way that evokes empathy for Liam, yet you can’t help but laugh at what he keeps doing to himself. He possesses a power that could easily help him get away from anything dangerous and he just goes anywhere and everywhere more dangerous than the next. That can’t possibly help ease his worries.
The taste of Event Horizon comes later when Liam is attempting to resume a normal life. As what appears to be a side effect of using black holes to move through time and space, Liam is seeing pure horror and other beings following him. Aliens and demons are materializing next to him at cafes and operating food trucks. People passing him on the street are bleeding from their eyes and mouths.
Has using black holes given Liam the horrible ability to see the evil dimensions endangering our existence? Has Liam given evil a gateway into our world? Is Liam just going insane? Has the anxiety taken its toll? Whatever it is, it has gotten the best of Liam and he can’t tell what is really happening and what he’s only imagining. His friend can no longer stand to see him like this.
As a mini-series, Collapser most likely won’t go into as much detail into Liam’s psychological damage as many Moon Knight series have. After a month passes, we see Liam hasn’t really gotten much better, only stronger is his denial. Upon exiting the psychiatric hospital and reuniting with the friend who sent him there, the entire city has the terrifying realization that what Liam has been seeing was real all along.
Kyriazis does a fantastic job in Collapser #2. The alternative dimensional beings are terrifyingly hilarious, mixed amazingly with scenes of blood and gore. The visions Liam endures leads me to believe maybe he’s seeing more than just 1 other dimension. Perhaps Liam is seeing one of pure evil and another strange bizarro world. I can’t wait to find out.
Collapser #2 is a great mixture of contrasting elements that work so well I’m wanting more and I’m out of pages. This is an intriguing new character and a story that feels like it exists within Tom King’s Mister Miracle. Hopefully, this new character has a future in DC and this is not our only tale of the Collapser.