“Black Science” concludes its first arc with a resounding bang that changes the status quo of the book forever. An epic conflict between Kadir and Grant leaves the team in complete disarray. Inside this anarchy are bold choices that many books aren’t brave enough to make, but Rick Remender makes them look easy.
The implications of Remender’s larger world in this first arc have been tremendously far reaching. “Black Science” prides itself off of infinite possibilities that can fold in on themselves countless times, creating dynamically different versions of the same characters in countless numbers of worlds. Yet, in all of these possibilities, I don’t think many will see the end of this issue coming.
It’s important because it takes chances, it gets messy, and it has the opportunity to be undone, but as “Black Science” pushes forward it will be remarkably different and filled with pain. It’s a beautiful thing too, because it adds to the dire circumstances of the adventure even more.
But enough about the end. The book itself is a beautiful and unrelenting battle between assholes too busy to see their similarities. Kadir and Grant will stop at nothing to make the other come around to their viewpoint, but they’re two sides of the same coin. Their fight takes place in this fantastic Monkey-spirit world that sees them interrupting the natural balance of things. Surprise! They make the original inhabitants of the world angry, and now have to deal with that on top of one another.
Matteo Scalera proves that he’s one of the best artists in comics right now with the opening page of this issue. The reflection of Kadir and Grant in the iris of a soul monkey is powerful and thematically provocative. Scalera soaks in this insanity and pushes to make the conflict dynamic and energetic. The two men don’t stop for a second, and we watch as their pushes through glass, into water, and even confront a Monkey Grant. Which is where the art really shines: character design. The immediate recognition that Grant shares with this creature is sold by his facial expression, but sharp-eyed readers may have already pinpointed the monkey’s similarities to Grant. Gah, it’s near perfect and further deepens the world. Non human avatars of ourselves!?
This concludes one of the most action heavy first arcs of a comic I’ve read in recent memory. “Black Science” is so much more than a love letter to science fiction and reads like a love letter to just plain good storytelling. Remender proves he isn’t afraid of taking risks in a world where he’s already known for it, and because of this his work continues to surprise, gutpunch, and entertain. You’d be a fool not to believe in his eververse, and even more foolish not to rush out and buy this issue now. It packs a punch, and serves as a shining example of what good looks like in comics.