That fan response to Marvel's Spider-Gwen one-shot Edge of Spider-Verse #2 was so profound can be chalked up to a number of important factors that we've covered before, but perhaps none as crucial as the exhilarating visuals created by artist Robbi Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi. The duo earned praise from us and others for introducing a kind of crackling, almost reckless sense of energy and fun into an already aesthetically diverse Marvel Universe (or alternate universe, as the case may be).

But this came as no surprise to readers of FBP: Federal Bureau Of Physics, the Vertigo series Rodriguez and Renzi launched last year with writer Simon Oliver. FBP's mantra is "the impossible is always possible" thanks to its universe's occasional and frequently catastrophic breakdown of all known laws of physics. Oliver's fantastic premise opens a door (or, more appropriately, a dimensional portal) for artists to be artists, and Rodriguez and Renzi dive wildly into their talents for hugely expressive, hypercolored images that -- along with routinely gorgeous covers by Nathan Fox -- have made FBP one of the most visually compelling American comics around at the moment.

 

 

(Incidentally, it's also one of the most diverse with respect to the fictional cast. FBP features an Arab American man and Latin American woman in the hero roles, and depicts a trans woman as a major supporting player.)

Rodriguez completed 13 issues of the FBP before moving on to Spider-Gwen and beyond, leaving two handsome paperback collections. The first, FBP: The Paradigm Shift, introduces readers to series hero Adam Hardy, a blue-collar physics technician in a world where gravitational anomalies and rescuing citizens from entropic "bubbleverses" are as common a nuisance as a family of possums making a home in your garage. It is on sale now. The second, FBP: Wish You Were Here, finds Adam and his on-the-spectrum partner Rosa Reyes investigating the crazy mysteries behind the series: who's behind the corporate/government conspiracy to privatize physics insurance? What happened to Adam's scientist father when he was caught in a quantum tornado all those years ago? And will Rosa find a way back into the paradise dimension in which she claims she grew up?

FBP vol 2 is on sale now from Vertigo, who've been so kind as to share some images from the collection's back matter. Seen here for the first time alongside some pages and panels we selected ourselves, this development and process art by Rodriguez and Renzi offers hardcore comic book storytelling fans some insight into the work that's helped to make FBP so distinctive a book. Obviously Marvel took notice, and so should you.

 

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