FBP is a visual trip that dances with surrealist influences, and the book is awash with bright dots, swishy lines, and more magenta, yellow, and cyan than anyone's seen this side of a broken printer. Even the more mundane panels play with perspective, and a world that requires a Federal Bureau of Physics begs the question of whether anything is as we expect it. Revelations jammed into the bubbleverse exodus lock us in to the "nothing is as it seems" motif, and the fourth issue of this wild Vertigo series changes the whole game.
Where a bubble universe closes, a sinister subplot opens, and the question of privatized physics control slides into front-and-center. If the concept alone wasn't terrifying, the shadowy perpetrators of Jay's demise certainly make it so, and the possibility that Adam and Cicero might end up solving human-generated physics problems grows stronger.
Particularly outstanding: the way this series embraced this shift and morphed from a quirky science-fiction tale to a more serious crime story (with hints of noir). There were seeds at the beginning (notably, Adam's father's mysterious disappearance), but now there are fully-emerging story threads that are intriguing in their politics and drama. The timing is perfect; the alt-physics high concept was a fantastic draw for new readers, but the juicy mystery is exactly what a series like this needed to keep things fascinating.
How many transporter vials (epi-injets) can a guy break in one trip to a bubble universe? In all seriousness, Jay's behavior in the bubbleverse is even more confusing than before, even if his external motivations are now clear.
This issue of FBP isn't just a turning point in the story; it's a prescription to sit back and let Oliver and Rodriguez serve up any flavor of weird that they deem appropriate to this warped story-world, and enjoy the ride. Appreciate the science, but don't get too caught up in it. Do get caught up in the noir-like mystery brewing underneath the surface, and do feel a need to learn what really happened to Jay, and to Adam's father. And do keep pulling this title.