Dual Review: Black Science #5

In this dual review two writers (in this case Steve and James) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from Image Comics: Grant discovers the truth about the Pillar’s sabotage, tearing his team apart just as they are launched into a dimension of mad gravity and violent monkey ghosts! How do you survive insanity when you can’t trust anyone around you?

Steve: BUY

Black Science is a book that started off with incredible promise in its first issue, but nosedived in interest almost immediately. Thankfully, that was not a long-lasting malady and for a few issues now, Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera have found their collective groove with this Sliders-meets-Quantum Leap-meets-The Fantastic Four series, and honestly, I think its fifth issue might be my favorite to date.

Still stranded in their cross-dimensional jaunt across String Theory thanks to a sabotaged transporter device (The Pillar), the Anarchist League of Scientists, led by unfaithful widower and lovable scoundrel Grant McKay, are suddenly joined during their relatively peaceful sojourn on an alien world by what could be described as Black Science’s equivalent to “The Evil Leaper.”

I won’t spoil this dimension-hopper’s true identity, but what his/her presence means to McKay and his crew’s objectives, not to mention the elucidation he/she brings them of the of the rats within their ranks, are both harrowing and scandalous. Plus, it involves a pretty shit-hot chase through a busy alien bartertown. And let’s be honest, that’s always awesome.

Along with the brilliant intrigue and action this issue, I continue to love the angular skew and stained textures in Scalera’s artwork. I feel like he too has had some missteps along the way in giving this series form, but he has once again found his stride in issue five, and when he’s at his best, there are not many others who can claim to be better. I love the character designs, especially in this more alien world, and I can’t wait to see where he and Remender both take us next!


James: BUY

I am starting to get the feel for Rick Remender's style of writing and I think that it is with that understanding that I am beginning to have some love for Black Science.  The group of characters that have entered into this multidimensional "eververse" are beginning to address deep issues related to the human soul and the cult of personality. It is a little bit twisted, a little bit revealing, and now a little bit entertaining as well.

After the first three issues of intense action packed environments, things began to slow with the fourth issue. Number 5 begins at that location, but as the story develops, we discover that there is nothing slow about any location (or its inhabitants). Some interesting tidbits have been thrown in here too that make this quite an interesting issue, allowing for a curiosity to see how things will be working themselves out, if at all to capture me.

I still can't say enough about Matteo Scalera's art which really captures the emotions and the essence of these characters. We have some good ones, some bad ones, and some real on the fence ones, with Grant being the primary. I don't know if I should hate this guy's guts or respect him for his dedication to success. Either way, he is a complex character that is written and drawn quite well.

OK guys, I am beginning to get consistent with the "Buys". Now I am ready for you to show me something big.

Score: BUY

Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Matteo Scalera Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50/$2.99 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital