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Is It Good? FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics #14 Review

The last arc of FBP, while very slow, left off on quite the interesting cliffhanger and I’m curious to see where this comic will be going now. Is it good?

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics #14 (Vertigo)

It’s time for a flashback! In particular, we look to Cicero and his past. We see his beginnings in physics to the time he joined the FBP Academy to get his background. That’s pretty much it.

D’aww, he was adorable little geek, wasn’t he?

There’s really not a whole lot I could comment about in regards to this particular comic’s story. It’s just a look at Cicero’s past, where we fill in and expand minor details or things we saw/heard from him through the main story, while also getting a glimpse at the FBP Academy and what the school is like. It’s by no means a bad thing, since this does help flesh out the third main character of the comic and up until now, in comparison to the other two characters, he’s been the weakest of the bunch. However, if you were expecting follow up on the cliffhanger from the last issue or expecting a lot of cool physics, this issue may disappoint you.

Regardless of what you think of the story, the writing remains very strong. The characterization and backstory for Cicero are excellent, really diving into the character and understanding how he became who he is. The dialogue and narration are solid for the most part. The pacing and storytelling are decent, though the story seems to wander around at points, like it’s not sure where to go. The ending is alright, but it’s kind of weak and there’s not much to it at this point. Disappointingly, there really isn’t much science fiction going on in the issue, and that’s normally a high point with getting to see the wonky or crazy physics. Hopefully the next issue can really bring it home.

At least look at me when you answer.

The artwork is much different this time. Robbi Rodriguez is out and Alberto Ponticelli & Nathan Fox are both in. Alberto takes over art duties for this issue and unfortunately for the rest of the series. It’s not that he’s a bad artist, but an ill-fitted one for this comic. His style is, well, not stylized and energetic enough to really make the visuals pop and stand out, and that extends into this issue as well. Even if there isn’t much in the way of crazy physics, it just lacks the energy and life to it in the characters and the layouts. Who would be good to take over is Nathan Fox, who is the cover artist and draws three pages of the book (he also does the Defy Cover page thing here) and he’s great. His style has the energy and stylization to really make the visuals on the book pop.

Is It Good?

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics #14 is a good issue, but not a particularly exciting one. It’s all character focused and dives into the life of Cicero, shedding some interesting light on him and his past. The writing is still good and the art, while really not fitted for the comic, isn’t bad in general. I look forward to where this new arc will take us, especially once we return to the present.


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