Black Science #6 (Comics Review)

Five issues so far and Black Science from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera hasn’t disappointed me yet. Each issue has been a visual masterpiece and a great example of a well-written comic. My past experience with some of Remender’s writing wasn’t all that positive really, so to read something so different and so much better is quite a thrill. In the last few issues we’ve seen how Grant McKay and his team have been going haphazardly through various dimensions, trying to get back to their own, and what kind of unique challenges they’ve been facing, whether it is betrayal or deja vu or alien hostiles.

Black Science #6, out this week, goes a bit further in that it shows another possible dimensional where a Pillar was built and where the creators employed the same symbol for their project as our protagonists did. Another fantastically rendered alien environment, and another example of how Remender can really twist an ending to give readers a shock-jolt. He doesn’t play it safe, not at all, and it is quite fun to follow along all these characters and see where their adventures take them next.Black Science 06Unless I am mistaken, this issue pretty much closes out this first arc of the series. It feels like a very natural place to do, hence my assumption. A lot of things happen here, and few them are good, if any. Last issue we found out who had messed up the control circuit of the Pillar, and this issue we see how Grant deals with this traitor in the ranks. And all of a sudden all the little character points that Remender built up in issues 4 and 5 come to the fore here as things go towards their natural conclusion. And not so natural. This was, frankly, an issue that can really make you cry, given how it ends, and that’s the power of Remender’s writing here.

There are some comics out there that totally blow your mind. They are unpredictable, confident, and they push on without thought for how the reader might react. Well, kind of, on that last account. Remender has clearly written this series to shock and awe readers at every turn and he doesn’t go in for gratuitous scenes or cliches. Each scene builds upon the other until a really rich and layered story emerges. When this issue starts off with Grant and Kadir fighting in some alien pit, you don’t really expect things to play out as they do.

But more than that is how the rest of the team reacts. Given the revelation in the last issue about Grant and Rebecca’s relationship, Pia is really breaking apart because she now knows why her family broke apart, why her parents drifted away from each other. She has a lot of anger boiling within her and in the wake of what she went through in the last issue, she lets off some steam here, even as Rebecca tries to get her to see some sense.

But when you are hurt and you have a target for the cause of your hurt, you just want to lash out at the people closest to you. This was a really saddening issue on that front, but ultimately also a really good one because of how Remender weaves in the physical action and the character development. Given everything that happens, Kadir just might be the hero of this issue, and that’s quite a surprise since he’s been quite subversive up until now, and even a coward in the face of enemies, none of which endeared me to him originally.

But that last page, that last page finally does it. As does Grant’s epiphany. That last page is heartbreaking.

And once again, we have Matteo Scalera, colourist Dean White and letterer Rus Wooton to thank for a visually brilliant installment to the series. Black Science is one of those few comics that succeed in being visual masterpieces with each issue and this one is no different. It all comes back to the alien environments that Remender tasks the artists with showing off, and they do a right grand job of it. Last two issues we had a sort of dimensional marketplace feel to the locales. This time we have something much more thematically consistent location as the team finds itself in an icy, underground habitat populated by sentient apes who are highly technologically advanced. The art in this issue really gets the blood pumping I got to say.

If you’ve been waiting on a trade for this comic, then you definitely need to stop wasting time and get on with the floppies program. This is not the kind of series that you want to wait on for that long.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Black Science: #1, #2, #3, #4-5.

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Posted on May 2, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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