I review FPB: Federal Bureau of Physics #2, formerly titled Collider, published by Vertigo Comics and written by Simon Oliver.
FPB: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #2
Story: Simon Oliver | Art: Robbi Rodriguez | Cover: Robbi Rodriguez | Publisher: Vertigo Comics | Price: $2.99
They call it a “Bubbleverse.” Not quite an alternate reality but a pocket universe—like a soap bubble forming on top of another soap bubble—that mirrors our own. People from our world are trapped inside, and FBP field-agents Adam and Jay volunteer for a daring rescue mission before a devastating collapse. But things are not what they seem: There’s a traitor in the Federal Bureau of Physics, and things are falling apart…
I’ll confess here, I’ve yet to read #1. I’ve had it on order at my LCS for over a month now and it still hasn’t shown up, but hopefully I’ll get a copy, because whilst Federal Bureau of Physics #2 certainly didn’t make me feel lost when I was reading it, I want to check out the first one just to get introduced to the world that this issue takes in proper, and to have a complete collection of the series so far. Because, let me tell you – I was really impressed by the title’s second issue, which saw a name-change from Collider because I believe a web comic already shared the same name as this series.
I’ve actually never heard of Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez, to be fair, and I tested this series out mainly because the premise looked awesome, people recommended it to me, and the first issue came out in a light week so I thought I’d try it, and if the second issue is anything to go by then I think I’m going to like this series, whilst it may not quite match the standard of other Vertigo titles that I’ve read this month, such as Trillium and the American Vampire Anthology, it’s certainly a damn fine read and makes a refreshing break from all the superhero comics that take up the mainstream of my reading material, and you can count me in for at least the next two issues to see how things go.
The book itself is fairly solid. Whilst the art may not be standout, it certainly is better than what I’ve seen elsewhere, and really fits the overall tone of the book. The plot of the issue was interesting as well, ending on a pretty neat cliffhanger that makes, like Captain America #10, the next issue a must read and I’m glad that even though Vertigo may be an imprint of DC, it’s not affected by Villain’s Month so I can get #3 without having to wait an extra month.
Newcomers like myself can jump on here and still have a pretty good idea as to what’s going on, mainly because of the brief recap about the Bubbleverse. There’s also some interesting backstory regarding Jay and Adam – the two main characters so far working as a team, and what makes this book more interesting is that you don’t know whether they’re going to be safe or not, which is a big advantage as to what most creator-owned titles have over most mainstream superhero comics. You can’t kill off a character as big as Iron Man or Batman and expect a permanent status change, and we’re too early in the series yet for the characters to get to the point where fans will be upset if one dies or not. This is a book where anything can happen – as shown by the previous cliffhanger.
Bring on #3 – I can’t wait to see what happens next. The only real flaw is that the characters need a bit more depth as they’re not particularly interesting or memorable right now, but given time I’m sure that’ll change. It’s certainly good to be reading a monthly Vertigo comic though, and I can see myself picking up a few more issues by Vertigo when they hit the shelves.