Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi prove in “Collider” #1 to be one of those rare creative teams working in perfect sync. This book is all about balance and collaboration, at least when it comes to the creative team, which is great. It’s clear from the work in “Collider” that the creators are excited about this book. That excitement is palpable on the page and it makes for a glorious read.
The story, about a world in which Physics has become the fourth 911 emergency classification (beyond Fire, Ambulance, and Police), is promising. With tons of room to grow and its roots already firmly planted in both a fascinating concept and strong character work, “Collider” has a must-read first issue. While many non-physicists might be turned off by the high-concept, Oliver gives just enough “science stuff” to build his world realistically and also keep readers on board without glazing over. It’s a tough balance to find on a book like this, but Oliver makes it feel effortless.
The book’s visuals by Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi are absolutely bang-on. Rodriguez and Renzi’s nearly perfect tone anchors itself just enough in reality to be easy to follow and relatable, but also pushes on the boundaries of storytelling in all the right ways. The experience is a fully-considered and totally enjoyable experience that executes Oliver’s script — the humor, the action and the drama — with precision. Rodriguez and Renzi really cut loose when the story gives them the opportunity, which make for the best pages by far, as their creativity just goes bonkers in all the best ways. The duo also knows how to rein themselves in on the day-to-day stuff, which makes the bonkers, no-gravity craziness visuals really pop. If it was all dawn at that level then it would lose all context and meaning, but the contrast gives it a wow-factor and style.
The cover for “Collider” #1 by Nathan Fox is one of the best this year, but I remember initially seeing it and managing expectations since Fox was not on interiors. But the cover and the interiors speak to one another beautifully. The cover presents the strongest possible exterior, but there’s no disappointment inside the book. It’s a wonderful surprise.
“Collider” #1 is a fantastic start to an exciting new series and a reminder of what a quality powerhouse Vertigo is and can be. It’s also a nice reminder of why the industry needs more books from Vertigo, not less. A higher quantity of smart, beautifully executed comics that explore the fantastical and bizarre without being about traditional superheroes is a very good thing.