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May 30, 2017

Collapse: Isolation #1 – Something to Take Your Mind Off the End of the World


Collapse: Isolation #1
Rising Sun Comics, October 1, 2015
Writers: R.P. Foster & Russ Pirozek

Rising Sun Comics’ “Collapse: Isolation” rides the current fin de siecle vogue of comic books that deal with a post-apocalyptic version of Earth. “Collapse”’s Earth has gone through a nuclear world war, which gave rise to mutated humans, who in turn waged war on normal humans before another bomb made the surface completely uninhabitable. This brief recap of what happened within the story in the comic occurred in a couple of pages, and unfortunately it is the only interesting part of the whole issue.

The rest of the comic follows a group of normal humans who have survived by hiding in a bunker. It was not made clear whether the bunker is underground or not, but it is apparent from the dialogue that they have spent more than a decade inside: a14 year old teen named Amelia has never seen the outside world.

The survivors only venture outside when needed. A dam that the survivors have been depending on for electricity is in need of repairs. The comic is ambiguous as to what kind of damage it sustained, just that it needs repairs and two of the able bodied survivors are tasked with the job.

The remainder of the pages focuses on the interactions between the various survivors. We get to know at least two sets of families, and that they get along well with each other. This is refreshing, in that the story has not fallen into the cliché of adding drama by dropping readers in the middle of a boiling pot of conflicting personalities in a claustrophobic space. For the most part, the biggest interpersonal conflict in the story is between the elders of the group who are very protective, and the young Amelia, who like any teenager wants to prove herself and seeks to join the effort to repair the dam.

Along the way, the comic provides insight on the dynamics inside the bunker and how these people are able to survive. They raise poultry and fish indoors and some of the survivors have existing technical skills that they are teaching to the younger ones. The comic devotes a few pages to more details, but it is unconvincing. The dialogue lines “—and if we transfer that energy into the next field, we may be able to—“ and “yes! And then if we adjust the values, that should work!” comes off as the kind of gobbledygook used by writers who want to project character technical expertise but do not care to research. This is disappointing considering that this comic has two writers on board to share the chores.

The issue is underwhelming as a whole. The premise is interesting, but ends in a complete non-event. It comes across as a dry illustrated survivalists manual. There is no tension; the characters are uninteresting; the comic amateurishly devotes an entire page introducing them; and the dialogue is stale. The writers have entirely failed to stimulate interest in successive issues through this introduction.

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