Black Science #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
An explosion erupting in a slew of purple and black cascades throughout the cosmos. Fish creatures riding on beasts of threatening presence franticly thrash as they charge through a strange world’s forest. Two scientists horrified and pursued, run for their lives to the edge of a cliff on the back of a turtle’s shell. Grant McKay, a scientist in an assembly of anarchists, punctures through the fabric of space and visits parallel dimensions with bio-electric charged inhabitants whose energy beams bursting through their heads ends up being a pretty effective weapon, and a myriad other wild and unbelievable evolutions all unique and precious to their own microcosm. The fantastic and dangerous world of Black Science is one brimming with imagination, exotic character design and dark consequences rippling through the lives of humans who make it their purpose to toy with the fundamentals of the known universe.
From the mad, creative mind that produced classic comics of the likes of Fear Agent, The Last Christmas, Uncanny X-Force and the current powerhouse in the Marvel camp with titles such as the flagship Uncanny Avengers and the All-New Captain America, Rick Remender brings a new ongoing to Image comics that continues to mash up the philosophies of punk and the dynamics of science fiction. Alongside the incredible pencils of Matteo Scalera and the expressive colour pallette of Dean White, the team manages to keep the quality of Image Comics ongoing series growing and expanding. This dimension hopping action comic perfectly blends the strengths of the whole creative team and Black Science #1 is a tremendous immersion into bizarre imagination and adept environment design.
Black Science #1 begins at the end of a catastrophe involving the lives of brave but arrogant researchers who adopt the attitude of anarchists into their studies which allow them to break through the modern conventions of discovery. This is all done at a tremendous cost however as with the exposure to new realms of existence comes the sacrifice and tragedy of everything and everyone else around the spiralling life of Grant McKay. His decisions throughout the issue are fully-realized and developed making him both a compelling lead and a broken hero in a gray world of moral ambiguity. His decisions have always been firmly routed in the tampering with black and forbidden science but at the risk of his family and colleagues and these choices come back to haunt him in a big way immediately. Remender’s inner monologue style is written with such precision as it is never disruptive to the action and serves only to enhance the audience’s compassion and empathy for the flawed main character, giving the doom that he faces a poetic and honest commentary. Black Science is a trip through the psyche of a selfish explorer while the foreign world he has landed in explodes all around him.
Matteo Scalera’s artwork in the first issue is foreboding, sinister and frightening. Defining a violent and dark universe, his style highlights the vicious threats inherent in the world while still playing with fresh and interesting character design that never feel stale or contrived. The surroundings of these creatures are straight from a mesmerizing video game setting and their feel is that of constant motion and apocalypse. The perfect compliment to Scalera’s action lines and frantic storyboarding is Dean White’s exemplary colour work. Everything that is already amazing and beautiful with Scalera’s outline and pencil work is made tenfold better by the intense shades and rampant colour fills that White has provided. It is a gorgeous book that features some of the best collaboration I have seen between colorist and artist.
Black Science is another in the ever expanding catalogue of success stories in modern Image Comics and manages to highlight all the best strengths within the arsenal of each creator. An Ongoing not to be missed.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com