Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s second chapter of ‘Black Science’ is still ripe with tension despite being a lot slower than the first issue. The stunning visuals are a little more subdued, the nature of dimension hopping is discussed, and the dynamic of the team is revealed. It’s an excellent second chapter of the series that sees the characters take the forefront while still maintaining an excellent sense of danger.
Now that Grant has successfully escaped into a new dimension, its time for his team to further question his motives. A German speaking solider quickly overruns them, and Grant is further wounded. The team falls into disarray about what to do next, and we learn everyone’s contributions to the dynamic and their larger motivations for joining the mission.
This new dimension is just as interesting as the first; with technological and alien like Indians battling Germans for supremacy almost anything could happen. The team is fractured without Grant and in need of a true leader. Tension bleeds off of every page, and nothing quite feels right as the narrative pushes on.
Matteo Scalera takes time to revel in the small moments here. The opening panels that depict a relaxed Grant rolling a joint are incredible. The detail in the roll, and the flame speaks to Scalera’s talent as an artist. Meanwhile his depiction of the new threats is ripe with subtle details. The armor of the Indians is a mixture of traditional and technological. This makes for a formidable opponent that we learn almost nothing about.
The sense of danger is further intensified with this chapter because no one really knows what they’re doing. Threats are being established both inside and outside the team, so any major catastrophe could undo everything. Grant’s team is lost without him, but he never seemed concerned with leading them in the first place. It’s a phenomenally interesting dynamic because often in this type of story we’re treated to a team of dedicated scientists making this sort of breakthrough.
Further defying the mold, Remender shows a haphazard group who each seem to be there for their own selfish reasons. Grant was the one thing that ties them all together and in his absence the cracks begin to spread. I highly doubt that the final panel of the issue will have any long-standing effect on the narrative but if it does I’ll be sincerely in shock.
Remender does a great deal for his protagonist by removing him from the picture. You learn how he affects each and everyone in the team, and proves that less is more when it comes to character.
“Black Science” is still wildly unpredictable and an absolute joy to read. The extra character beats this month solidify the world before the discovery and create an even more interesting interpersonal threat outside of the insane dimension our heroes have found themselves in. Making for another homerun issue that I cannot recommend enough.
Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls.