Grant McKay is easily one of the least likeable protagonist’s to ever grace the medium. This month “Black Science” explores this despicable anarchist’s past while simultaneously rocketing us through an adventure piloted by the supporting cast. Remender’s script ensures each character gets a beat, while Matteo Scalera’s art makes one hell of a struggle in a volatile dimension look absolutely beautiful.
Long live the Dimensonauts!
It was rather difficult to envision “Black Science” as an ensemble piece when it was first announced. Previously, Rick Remender’s “Fear Agent” seemed like the sole inspiration for the title, but upon reading issue 3, I’d say this is much more akin to his work on “Uncanny X-Force.” While that book was populated by characters who knew they were despicable and capable of awful things, “Black Science” is a book lead by a character who is capable of amazing things that doesn’t realize he’s despicable.
Unlike X-Force, the supporting cast is comprised of good people. This month we learn just how the team came together, and just how far they are willing to go to protect their leader. Last issue made Kadir out to be a villainous force within the group, but here Remender takes time to deconstruct that idea. Kadir is a businessman first and foremost but a smart one who’s looking out for others. While Ward is an intelligent but overly worried solider who is left to lead the group in Grant’s absence.
Cracks are beginning to form in the group, and the insane nature of these dimensions is forcing people to change. The Eververse will prove to be a dangerous place at almost every turn and Remender doesn’t shy away from that fact. Grant’s children are about to grow up very quickly or be faced with certain death.
Interestingly enough, the book succeeds without Grant at play within the present. He is a force of nature in each of the Dimensonaut’s lives and it begs the question as to what Remender’s next move is.
Speculation aside, Scalera’s art totally kills it in this new dimension. His depiction of the Native humans is steeped in history but peppered with science fiction. It’s incredibly original and engaging. His work with the gigantic robotic killing machine is menacing, and the ensuing conflict between it and Ward is the absolute peak of the issue. The two-page spread featuring this beast is clean, massive, and exciting. Plus it manages to give Kadir a huge moment that I truly wasn’t expecting.
Dean White’s superb coloring gives an eerie glow that feels completely inline with the strange nature of this new dimension. The rich oranges, muddy greens, and bright blues offer “Black Science” such a unique flavor and fall perfectly in line with Scalera’s work.
Remender moves forward, backward, and outward all at once proving that “Black Science” is an absolute triumph of the medium that pushes the limits of what is possible to create truly unique character drama amidst the backdrop of dimension hopping insanity. I can’t recommend it enough.
Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls.