This Week in Comics: 'Black Science Volume 1' Review

By Patricia Streeter,
Author Rating: 
4.0 Stars - Very Good

Most forms of entertainment label black magic as a dark art. It is something that should not be tampered with. Black Science Volume 1 was written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, painted by Dean White and produced by Image Comics and released June 10.

Black Science reminds me of black magic. The title implies that certain scientific ventures should not be pursued. No good will come of it. In this comic, the dimensions are derived from humanity's choices. It is compared to an onion, because onions have many layers and pop culture references as well.

Not all of the dimensions are dangerous; however, they provide false moments of hope and security. Some characters become narrators. The plot continues, but we peek through their mind in each fleeting moment. It is clear that the pillar is not an original idea. It is a fated idea; one that passes through each dimension. The pillar seems self-righteous and self-serving. Without any consent, these people intended to take natural resources from other dimensions to serve the needs of their own. They forget, everything comes with a price. Is the state of the Eveverse worth breaking barriers that should never be broken? No one has passed the test yet. Every McKay gets the pillar to work.

Grant McKay is a selfish man with childish views of the world. Even though he admits that he is a terrible person for his attitude towards society, his tone is still self-righteous. Somehow, his demeanor attracts people to his cause.

The group starts off large, but slowly dies off. Rebecca is Grant’s partner in many ways. The two spent a lot of time building the pillar. When everything goes awry, they work together to fix it. Shawn is the comedic relief. His role in the project is unclear. As a result, his worth is questionable. However, his humor is occasionally laced with wisdom. He is a college drop out by choice. It is amazing what devotion can make you do for a cause. McKay obtained rains and humor. All he needed was the strength.

Ward is the muscle of the operation. He was dishonorably discharged. His branch of service is unclear, but I would go with the Marines or the Army. He would go to the ends of the world to protect the ones he loves. Everyone has a flaw. His flaw is trust. Not all men are honorable. Deadly situations bring out a man’s true character. Not all men or women are honorable or smitten by Mckay.

Chandra seems to be in league with Kadir, she is like his mischievous spy. Chandra helps Kadir collect information to stop Grant Ward for taking credit for the Pillar. Kadir is the Pillars investor. He is the middle man between the research team and Mr. Block. He has no shame and despises McKay. The two have known each other since college. Even then, Kadir was infuriated by McKay’s presence. I do not understand why Kadir is not wearing a protective suit like everyone else, but he is not the only person furious with Grant McKay.

Pia is Grant’s 18-year-old daughter. She is “fully aware” of her father’s work with Rebecca. As a result, she is usually agitated with her father’s coworker. To get Pia through the stress of realm jumping, Shawn tries to keep their conversations light-hearted. Still, her attitude flairs up a lot. Can you blame her? She wasn’t supposed to be there.

In volume one, the crew travels to four dimensions. Each is unique and different from earth. First Realm: Fishes against Frogs. It seems like a battle that has waged for many centuries. The fishes look more human than the frogs. This implies that the fishes are more intelligent and sophisticated than the brooding physical frogs. This concept is nothing new and ideal time to open the comic. The war zone realm looks like WWI or WWII. The Germans are fighting against galactic Indians form an uncharted continent.

It appears that the Germans are facing a foe from an uncharted country, America. Makes you wonder how the technological advances occurred. The “Star Wars” dimension has diverse creatures and technology. Compared to the others, it is safer and has technology that the crew can use to fix their pillar. The last realm reminds me of Planet of the Apes. This realm is not named this, but the intelligent monkeys invoke this franchise to me. The characters are just as diverse as the places the pillar takes them.

Overall, Black Science Volume 1 was a quick read for me. I appreciated Remender exposing his characters’ minds to his audience. You get to hear Ward and Kadir’s thoughts as they speak with others. The artwork is very detailed and graphic. The color scheme invokes a queasy feeling. You’ll feel unsettled by his character’s predicament. Remender hooks his audience with bizarre realms ad uncertainty. Instead of explaining everything in the beginning, he makes you work for the information. You have to read the comic to grasp the situation, otherwise you will be lost like McKay’s crew.



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