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5 Skull Review: ‘Black Science’ # 1

Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s new creator owned series “Black Science” dives head first into unknown worlds where the conventional rules of the universe no longer apply. The debut issue is filled to the brim with pulse pounding adventure centering on a protagonist ripe with self-doubt.

Remender’s script provides an overload of monstrous creatures for Scalera to bring to life with his stunning artwork. While his protagonist’s self reflection will make you see the dangers in toying with the unknown parts of the universe. This is pure, original, and thrilling science fiction at it’s absolute best.

WRITTEN BY: Rick Remender
ART BY: Matteo Scalera
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: November 27, 2013

Rick Remender has always dabbled in the unfamiliar. In fact he seems much more comfortable there. Small sandboxes are boring, whereas big, nearly unfathomable worlds seem to be more his speed. “Black Science” doesn’t change pace but instead provides the perfection of that idea.

This first issue introduces us to anarchist Grant McKay, a genius scientist in the midst of a mission gone wrong. Mckay has unlocked the gateway to parallel dimensions and alternate realities. He finds himself questioning his work and philosophy as he is overwhelmed by the dangerous alien world around him.

Remender places the reader directly in the head of Mckay. Centering the book on a running internal monologue that bears his protagonist’s soul. It’s a bold move, because it doesn’t make Mckay inherently likeable. As time goes on, and shit gets worse, we start to see the humanity within the hero.

With the alien world closing in on him from every angle Mckay becomes desperate for redemption. He has a clear goal, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything to succeed. The writing is filled with a certain charm that adds a sense of energy to every line of internal narration. Grant is as lost as the reader, and he’s not really cut out for action. It’s the type of charm that made Remender’s “Fear Agent” such a joy to read, and never ceases to entertain here.

Artist Matteo Scalera is one brave man. Seeing the fully realized pages of this book, it’s almost impossible to fathom what reading the script pages must have felt like. The art here is beautiful, haunting, and dripping with originality. Every single page manages to top the one that came before it.

Be it the amphibious warriors on page two, or the tortoise pyramids amongst the torrent of purple lighting “Black Science” is a visual feast. Scalera makes every panel count, and creates a sense of kinetic energy that pushes the reader through a roller coaster ride on a alien planet.

The results are a beautiful companion piece to the tight story. Not a single space on the page is wasted, and every page is absolutely captivating. The improvisational battle with the little blue lightning frogs had me laughing and cheering. While Grant’s final heroic act manages to tie the issue together in a fantastic and neat little bow.

Remender tells a story unlike anything else, and shows us worlds no other can. Throw in a compelling hero, and incredible artwork and you’ve got the makings of a must have title. “Black Science” is a new masterpiece from a seasoned veteran who aims to take both this book and the comics medium to new and exciting places.

You can’t miss it.

Rating: 5/5 Skulls.




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