Review: BLACK SCIENCE #5

BLACK SCIENCE #5
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Matteo Scalera, Dean White
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: April 2, 2014

BlackScience05-coverBlack Science is the comic book equivalent to a punk rock song. So much energy and rage poured out on the page. With Black Science #5, Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, and Dean White, fully solidify the book in my mind as one of the absolute best offerings the medium has currently.

For those not familiar with the story, Black Science tells the tale of Grant McKay, an anarchistic scientist who develops a totem that allows people to travel to literally any dimension imaginable. Grant is an egomaniac. He lies, he cheats, he gets what he wants. He thinks the totem is for the betterment of society, like being able to jump to a dimension where a cure for cancer was developed. However, on his first mission using the totem (one in which he decides to bring his two kids, along with the women he is having an affair with) things go awry. Someone has sabotaged the totem, jeopardizing the entire mission and the lives of everyone involved. In the first four issues of Black Science, lives were lost, futuristic Native Americans happened, and it was awesome. Black Science #5 picks up after that first brush with death, with McKay and his Anarchist League of Scientists safe for the moment, but not home yet. They are on a seemingly peaceful alien world, not everyone is happy, and he still doesn’t know who sabotaged the totem.

Rick Remender knows how to write himself a comic book. He has shown that before on Fear Agent and Uncanny X-Force, along with many others books. With this issue Rick produces some of his best work. Having Grant McKay be such an unlikable character was a bold choice for the protagonist of the book, but Rick has continued to make him an increasingly fascinating one. This issue explores the concept of lying, why we do it, why we allow people to do it to us, and the effect it has on those around us. He skillfully introduces a new character and concept that absolutely blew my mind, but I won’t spoil what it is for reader. Just know that it drastically alters the trajectory of the series in my mind, in a way I did not expect.

Rick fills Black Science #5 with a supreme feeling of momentum, something the series has maintained throughout all 5 issues. People are always running. This creates a great pace to the book. It never feels like a scene went on for too long. Something entertaining in the story or something to marvel at in the art will always be happening. Not only are the characters running but the story is running as well. Rick is consistently propelling the story forward at a breakneck speed, and I have no idea where that story is going. Not many writers can do that. Rick Remender has created himself a sandbox with Black Science, a big epic sci-fi, adventurous, fantasy, family relationship drama sandbox.

In my opinion, Black Science is the best looking book right now. The level of artistry and craft on every single page of this comic book is astounding. The combination of Matteo Scalera on pencils and Dean White on colors is truly something special. This issue continues their reign of excellence. The designs Matteo comes up with continue to excite. From all the alien life forms we see filling the city, to the suits and future tech of the scientist, my mind is consistently blown. Matteo and Dean pull off a really nice extended chase scene in this issue as well, capturing a chaotic and thrilling feeling throughout. Matteo knows where to place the camera. Zooming in at the right moment to accentuate an action, and zooming out when needed to orient the reading in space. This book is worth a look for the art alone.

Black Science is a special kind of book. Not often do we see a series this refined, thought-provoking, and gorgeous. It’s a gem.

The Verdict: 10/10

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