Don’t worry if you’re wondering what happened to the first issue of “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics.” Published as “Collider” #1, another comic challenged this series’ trademark and one quick change later — well, here we are, with Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi still doing their thing as the FBP goes up against incidents where the laws of physics have gone wild.
After a strong introductory issue that introduced some of the basic concepts of a world where collapsing laws of physics are now a category in 911 calls, “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics” #2 follows through by giving us a multi-part adventure, as Adam and Jay venture into a collapsing “bubbleverse” that has five people trapped inside, in need of rescue before it winks out of existence in 30 hours. Oliver’s story here hits all the right marks; it’s got weird science, it’s got some action, and even a dash of conspiracy theory as allegiances are starting to get tested.
While “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics” #2 is hardly the first comic to try and mix all of this together, what makes this one stand out for me is how tightly integrated all of the different pieces feel. Oliver’s story is a strange, bending one that flips around into flashbacks and then back to the present, dips off onto side stories with no warning, and makes a sudden knowledge dump still sound interesting. This is achieved in part because of how well it matches Rodriguez’s art. The overall look of “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics” #2 is this strange, almost malleable world where it’s hard to keep from feeling like you can reach into the panels and reshape the characters like Play-Doh. The main characters and the general weirdness are wonderfully drawn here, but deserving just as much attention are the background characters and places. The television reporter on page 8, for example, looks fantastic. I love the snarl of hair that she has blowing in the breeze, or the vivid shade of blue-green that Renzi’s added to her shirt. The clouds of smoke coming from Jay’s nostrils on the next page are also fascinating, with tendrils and plumes wafting up and around the panel in a way that doesn’t distract the reader, but also rewards those who look closer. Even letterer Steve Wands gets in on the action; the strange, wiggly tail of the word balloon following the elevator down on page two gives us a wonderful sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach as we look at it. It’s the perfect way for every single element of “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics” #2 to mesh together.
“FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics” #2 is a ridiculously fun comic, and now that it has its new title I hope it’s able to build and grow an audience. Vertigo is in the process of launching a lot of new series, and if this is any sign, readers are in for a fun ride in the months to come.