Black Science #8 Review

Posted August 28, 2014 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Rick Remender

Art by: Mateo Scalera

Publisher: Image

I’m going to let all of you in on a little secret. Seriously. It may not be the best kept secret or anything, especially at this point, but hey, secrets are secrets. And I guess, in a sense, this may not be a secret. However, considering that there seem to only be about 28,000 people in a world of over seven billion, I think this qualifies as a secret. So here it is: Black Science is a REALLY FREAKING GOOD COMIC BOOK. Is it the bets on the market? Maybe not, but it comes pretty damn close to that top spot. Black Science easily surpasses about 90% of the 100 best selling comics in terms of quality. And you know what? I want to be mad at everyone who isn’t reading it. I really do. But how can I be upset or frustrated when I sink into the warm, loving (digital) pages of Black Science? It’s total immersion in happiness.

I feel like I could just end my review there, and wait for all of you poor souls not picking up Black Science to check it out. For whatever reason, though, people need reasons to check out this book. Well, I’ll give you reasons. Inter-dimensional travel. Bug people. The most entertaining exposition ever. Great characters. THE FEELS. Sure, “feels” may not actually be a real word, so yell at me in the comments. Or just talk to me normally about how thankful you are that I told you to go buy Black Science and you did and now you’re really happy because you’re reading one of the best science fiction comics ever and HOLY RUN ON SENTENCE, BATMAN.

Ugh, a big two reference. But, in all seriousness, let’s use that as a segway! Because, really, it’s quite relevant that this is a creator owned series. With Black Science, writer Rick Remender gets to go completely off the rails. He can let his mind wander, and craft great, high concept stories. He can create entirely new characters, characters that have never been seen before, and characterize them as he sees fit. He gets to choose where these characters go, with absolutely no editorial mandates holding him back. As a result, we get an inner monologue from Nate McKay, about his (spoilers) late father, and the time that he took him to karate lessons so that he could beat up a bully and tie him to a tree. As entertaining as that may be, it also gives us a connection to this character on a much more personal level than ever before.

Really, that’s the main reason that Black Science as a whole, and that includes this issue, is so successful. The characters always feel relatable, despite living thousands of years in the future. They feel, well, human. They, and the world that surrounds them, is teeming with life, both literally and figuratively. The characters are estremely vibrant, and all of them are so different from one another, and yet, they all feel like real people. This is the reason that Black Science got its hooks in me. And this issue, really, is the best of the series. The characters, and their interactions with one another, offers some of the best writing Rick Remender has ever done.

Plot wise, we’re actually starting to get deep into what Black Science really is. Yes, it’s the title of the book, I know that. But even more so, it’s part of the subject matter. With the revelation that the shaman they picked up a few issues back actually speaks English, we get some unfairly entertaining exposition about his past encounters with black science, and how it corrupts all those who use it. If you though the plot wasn’t interesting before (spoilers: it actually was), then the pages of flashbacks in this issue are sure to change your mind entirely.

Also, Mateo Scalera. That guy is insanely talented. And what happens when you get a really talented writer and a really talented artist together? You get a great comic book. You get Black Science.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.