Black Science feels like an old-school sci fi serial if it had an all-star cast, the best wardrobe designer, Rodenberry level writers, and an unlimited special effects budget. However, also like old-school serials, things in Black Science feel as if they come to a sudden halt each issue just as we’re getting into the thick of it, an issue that’s causing me to question whether trade waiting may be the way to go. After Nate and Pia’s capture by the telepathic millipedes (you read that right) last issue, I thought that things would end badly for one of the McKay children this time around. Fortunately, Pia uses her knowledge of their dimensional suits to forge a getaway for her and her brother on the back of a walrus/caterpillar hybrid, perhaps my favorite beast so far on this world. Throughout their escape, we also gain insight into Pia’s perspective on her current predicament, placing much of the blame on her deceased father and using the resulting anger to drive their mad dash for freedom. This scene, in just a few pages, give us all the info necessary to figure out how the siblings’ view themselves within the team, Pia politely referring to their predicament as ‘bullshit’ that their dad has forced them to eat.
It’s riveting stuff that ends all to quickly once the page whites out and we’re taken to a dimension shown last issue where an alternate Grant tracks down Kadir and the Pillar he posseses in an Egypt that’s ancient in design and modern in technology. Things cap off here with a scientist Grant vs Dirty Harry Grant standoff that I can’t make heads or tails of, frustrating me in a way that I think Remender probably didn’t intend. I’m just having trouble determining the relationships between these characters, and feel as though it shouldn’t be necessary for me to reread all the preceding issues to figure out who’s who and what their motivations are.
We end up getting a few more pages focusing on the siblings’ return to the Pillar as well as Rebecca’s confession to Shawn about why she considers their situation her fault, connecting to a flashback scene about her own sibling. Although it’s all well-written, and drawn, I feel like I’m not getting enough issue by issue. That’s probably largely due to my fascination with both Remender and illustrator Matt Scalera’s ability to render impossible worlds in a way that appears original yet organic, but also my desire to see how the story of each of these characters play out. These two desires don’t always feel as if their met issue by issue, leading me to wander whether to make the conversion to trade waiter on this one, especially because the single issue extras (process renderings of a few panels) don’t feel like much of an incentive to stick around month after month. I want a Black Science 8 course meal, and I’m tired of stuffing myself with appz.
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Matteo Scalera Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 10/29/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital