The smile that appears on my face after closing any comics written by Rick Remender is quite an infectious thing. It affects my feelings for anything I write or say about his work, and how I feel about this entertainment medium we’ve all been roped into.
With that said, I will try my damndest not to stray from the point of this review to it’s co-creator and writer.
Black Science from Image Comics is story of a man, husband and father named Grant McKay whom along with his fellow scientists, dubbed the “Anarchist League of Scientists”,his children, boss and Head of Security is trapped in various alternate dimensions and trying to find a way to return home. Thanks to the device he created called “The Pillar” and an act of sabotage on the day of its first test run, Grant was swept away into unknown worlds with no clear way to return to his own. Now they must bond and work together in hopes of surviving each situation they are thrown into and hope that the next one will lead them home.
The Pillar has been the focus and obsession of Grant McKayss work life as well as a key element in the strain and trouble that has been created in his personal life with his wife and children. A device that allows anyone to map and travel to alternate worlds in search of secrets, cures, raw materials or anything else that might benefit them. Grant described the idea of “infinology” to his son in issue three. The theory that anything you can imagine can exist in some layer upon layer of parallel dimensions akin to an onion; choices, small or large, made by any one or thing that affected and changed their world.
Parallel dimensional travel of course is not an entirely new idea and has been written about and used many times in all forms of entertainment. It’s the ensemble of characters and how they interact with each other that is the foundation of this story and how well it works. Rick Remender I’m sure knows this and wisely uses the first several issues available to lure the reader in and introduce them to these characters and hopefully hook them in for the long haul. I personally feel he has succeeded.
In just three issues, the team has been transported to two very dangerous worlds. Along the way, one team member has already been killed and Grant has been mortally wounded. This obviously shows that all the cards are on the table and no one is safe from being axed.
The first issue drops them into an alien swamp land where Grant encounters both fish and frog humanoid-like savages and battles his way between both warring factions in an attempt to return to the group with something he can use as coolant for the Pillar to prevent it from exploding when it auto-reactivates and opens a new dimensional door, killing the rest of the group and stranding him there. It is a fast paced issue that can read fairly quickly but I find myself going back to it and admiring the art and colors of the book. Matteo Scalera and Dean White are definitely firing all cylinders here and it shows. The design of these creatures, the world they inhabit and the colors used are some of the best work I’ve seen out of an Image book and very reminiscent of old pulp science fictions novel art. The cover design was so great I had to find a promotion poster off ebay and hang it on my wall so that I can look at it everytime I walk into my man-cave.
Issues two, three and the upcoming fourth place them in a world, as it is observed by their boss Kadir as a form of inverse Manifest Destiny, where American Indians have invaded the European continent armed with high technology even beyond their understanding in an attempt to conquer and expand. This is an idea that I personally wish could have be expanded into a longer story arc, but unfortunately will not be explored any more than these few issues. It is here where Grant is mortally wounded and Security Chief Ward must find a way to save his life before the auto timer is up on the Pillar and they are transported away again. It is in issue three where we learn more about Ward and just how he became involved in the company that Grant was working for. I could go into more detail on this subject but I’ll just let you read the issue for yourself. Suffice to say, Ward is a loyal and good soldier and will do anything to protect everyone under his watch.
My review and synopsis of the current issues here I feel just scratch the surface of the book, but I hope give a basic introductory idea of what this is about and help sway you in your opinion in giving it a read. I’ve been enjoying them, typically of a book that Rick Remender is involved in, and highly recommend at some point either with the singles or an eventual collected trade to give it a shot.