I can honestly say that I didn’t see anything that happened in this issue coming, and I’m still not sure what to make of it all. Did I like it? I don’t really know, in no small part because the twist that comes is so large and so out of left-field that I’m still trying to integrate it into my understanding of the story. It is going to change this series pretty dramatically, so I guess we’re going to have to get used to it.
Grant McKay makes the not-quite-ultimate but still very serious sacrifice for Pia, giving Doxta his intellect in exchange for the Oxen Heart. She keeps her end of the bargain and peace is restored to the world, but surprisingly, Pia decides to come with Grant instead, perhaps seeing that her father really has changed. Rather than taking her along, though, he decided that the safest thing to do would be to take her back to their dimension so that her mother won’t be left wondering what happened to them. But therein lies a new and unforeseen problem: not only is Kadir married to Pia’s mother, the original founder of the project immediately seizes the Pillar from Grant, planning to use it for his own ends.
Part of me really thought that Grant would back out before surrendering his mind to the witch. After all, it is so central to his character that I thought he might blanche, or at least figure out some trick to allow him to cheat the witch (though presumably with some tragic consequences, because this is Rick Remender). But I suppose that screwing over Pia one more time would have been a Rubicon for Grant that would have forever ended him as a sympathetic character. I actually caught myself enjoying the first half of the comic because of the all-too-rare good vibes.
But the man returning to seize the Pillar just feels so out of left-field that I don’t know what to do with it. I honestly assumed they’d landed in an alternate reality. Perhaps he was mentioned early on, but it’s been long enough that I simply don’t remember him. And the fact that Grant’s entirely rational decision has once again brought about disaster almost feels too cruel. This comic has been one series of catastrophes after another, with Grant always at the center of them. Any time he thinks he’s doing good out there, he’s really sowing salt. But at least before, it was because of arrogance and overconfidence. Repeating this same trope again just feels cruel, and all too familiar.
Nor is Pia’s rage toward Kadir entirely logical; whatever lie he told Pia’s mother was probably more comforting than “your mad genius husband is dimension hopping with them,” and in all fairness, he was wrongly stabbed in the chest. I suppose this does reunite Kadir with the others and explain the previously-notable absence of his blip, but I’m still not sold on this latest twist.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Black Science #24
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Mateo Scalera, Moreno Dinisio
Publisher: Image Comics
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital