DC Comics’ Young Animal imprint gave readers exceptional off-kilter superhero books for two years. Then, it was put on hiatus as DC redirected attention to the resuscitation of the Vertigo line for its 25th anniversary. Thankfully, the shelving of Young Animal didn’t last long, and the imprint curated by Gerard Way is back this summer, starting with the return of Way’s Doom Patrol followed by two new series. N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell’s new Green Lantern story, Far Sector, debuts later this year, but readers looking for a new superhero concept can find one in next month’s Collapser, which has a young DJ receiving a black hole in the mail that fuses with his body.
Co-written by Mikey Way, Gerard’s younger brother and My Chemical Romance bandmate, and Shaun Simon, who cowrote The Killjoys with Gerard, Collapser hits all of the Young Animal touchstones, incorporating mind-bending cosmic ideas into an introspective character-driven story with a bold visual aesthetic. This exclusive preview of Collapser #1, on sale July 17, showcases that narrative dynamic as it opens with a dramatic alien death before jumping to Earth to show Liam’s dreary day-to-day routine. Artist Ilias Kyriazis and colorist Cris Peter accentuate that shift in the visuals, contrasting the image of the alien’s corpse on a red planet with Liam’s sleeping body in a gray bed.
Kyriazis’ animated linework and evocative compositions tap into the emotional core of Liam’s character, depicting both his good heart and his loneliness as he takes care of elderly nursing home residents. Darkness plays an essential role in this book given that it revolves around a black hole, and Peter heightens the visual impact of the black hole by coloring the rest of the artwork with a pastel palette. Peter reserves the deepest blacks for the actual black hole, reinforcing how its total vacuum is different than the darkness of an ordinary shadow. Bowland’s lettering connects Liam’s inner thoughts to the black hole by presenting his inner monologue in dark word balloons with shaky borders, creating unstable pockets of text throughout the page that foreshadow the total loss of stability when Liam becomes one with the abyss.