Black Science #1 Review: Easily a 10 out of 10
Black Science #1
has blown me away. Like any decent first issue should, it introduces the necessaries. But that isn’t all it does—it introduces like a first issue and grips like final issue. It sets up a compelling story that begins the way most stories end: in a frantic race against the clock in which our hero’s life flashes before his eyes, in which all of his choices up to that fateful moment are scrutinized, an acceptance of the rapidly approaching end.
With so much going on, where do I begin? How about I start with Grant McKay: uncompromising scientist, absent husband, loving father, anarchist, and empathetic human being. We meet him in the most trying and vulnerable moment of, perhaps, his entire life. Even on the verge of death, a precipice he ventures towards the edge of more than once in this issue, he finds the will to carry on, to save those who depend on him. What led him to this dimension, caught in the midst of an age-old conflict between frog and fish people, both fierce and deadly?
—and yes, you heard me correctly: frog people and fish people. Black Science
wrestles with the weird and bizarre in ways only a great science fiction comic could. Just as Grant tells us, there are countless billions of dimensions out there. The scope is so wide, that in its midst humans beings are unique and rare creatures. McKay and his crew have figured out a means to travel between these dimensions. How? Well, Grant McKay practices his anarchist politics through scientific discovery. As he aptly tells us, “THERE IS NO AUTHORITY BUT YOURSELF,” and his disregard for establishment led him directly into the study of “black science.”
While human beings might be unique, their behavior isn’t. One thing Grant seems to encounter in all dimensions: tyranny and war. Tyranny is an anarchist’s worst enemy, and war is a direct descendent of it. It’s fascinating where Grant McKay’s politics have led him—right in the thick of human problems in a world where humans don’t exist. It’s the cost of civilization, of intelligent life.
Writer Rick Remender has really hit this one out of the ballpark. His résumé is absolutely sprawling, having written and/or drawn multiple major works for almost every major publisher. While it might be too early to say, this stands to be one of his best. With Black Science
, he has set in motion a story with an infinite number of possible trajectories. McKay and his crew will continue to travel through the plethora of available dimensions, and we’ve already had a small taste of what’s waiting for them.
Artist, Matteo Scalera, has worked with Remender before, having collaborated together on Secret Avengers
for Marvel. Suffice it to say these two know what they’re doing. The illustrations are wildly imaginative and stylistically original. Don’t take for granted the fact that in virtually every panel, there’s movement, action, and chaos enough to keep pace with the quick writing. It’s a match made in heaven.
And I most certainly don’t want to forget about Dean White, whose color work is excellent and has something to do with the success of Scalera’s contributions. It isn’t that one would be lacking without the other, it’s that the two go together so perfectly that White’s color work is at risk of going unnoticed—it shouldn’t. Issue #1 takes place in a dark and swampy dimension, and I almost feel damp and cold just reading it. Black Science #1
is a winner in all senses.
Between this exciting and ambitious new work and Saga
, Image Comics is quickly establishing itself as THE publisher of great science fiction. It’s an exciting time to be a comic book fan and I am eagerly anticipating the next issue of Black Science
. Until then, I’ll do my best to spread the word: Black Science
is a bold beginning to a potential masterpiece in the making. Read it!