(Spoiler Alert: Image Comics cost 50cents more than other comics! Por qua?!)
Last November on my weekly visit to Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics here in Corvallis, the place’s namesake Matt told me about Rick Remender’s new image title Black Science. He said that they didn’t have it in stock but that lots of the regulars had been asking after it and wanted to know whether I’d be interested in adding it to my pull list. I told him I’d check what it was all about before doing so, but already knew that I’d be down for reading it since Remender was one of those writers (mainly thanks to his highly lauded Uncanny X-Force run) whose work I’ve been wanting to read more. Today when I made my first visit of the New Year to Matt’s, he had issue 2 and a reprint of 1 waiting for me (no Sex Criminal #4 though. Next week!).Given that Black Science was a new original series from Image who in my opinion produced consistently high quality books last year, I was pretty excited for the results.
So let me just say this bit about it:
BIO-ELECTRIC ALTERNATE EARTH FROG TONGUE WHIP
I think I could end it there given that if you haven’t already read the first issue, you’re probably now on your way to pick up a copy, but I got a bit more praise to laude on this comic before I’m through.
The issue starts out media res as we catch our protagonist Grant, anarchist scientist, running through an alien jungle with a partner who soon meets her end. As Grant races to meet the rest of his crew who are unaware of the impending death they’ll face if Grant doesn’t get them a key element stat, Remender provides some narration from grants POV, revealing his regret at placing his children in their present predicament (they being with his crew), and gives a nice sense as to Grant’s character and his propensity for making bad choices merely to spite authority figures.
The issue ends with Grant reuniting with his crew in the nick of time only to be whisked away to another alternate Earth in the middle of a war between a European Alliance and technologically-advanced Native Americans rocking bitching battle suits. Grant then gets wounded and it’s up to Ward, the crew’s Security Officer to kidnap one of the Native American’s shaman to help Grant, or risk their permanent residency in this visually stunning, but deadly landscape. Throughout we get bits about what led to the crew’s initial transportation as well as some characterization of our supporting players who play well off each other so far although not yet given much to do, likely to change given that our led is out of commission.
As for the art, Matteo Scalera and Dean White double-team with Scalera working on inks that create a kinetic experience while maintaining amazing detail throughout, and White’s colors providing the book a fresh palette not normally seen in science fiction fare. Early in the issue we get a great widescreen shot of the location Grant is stranded on, and it’s Scalera and White’s synchronicity in that instance that hooked me into reading the rest of the issue.
I’m still unsure what story Remender and the team are doing with this comic two issues in, but as long as the book looks this great and Remender keeps the pacing brisk and the language authentic, I’ll be reading. Plus, BIO-ELECTRIC ALTERNATE EARTH FROG TONGUE WHIP
Read if you like that show with the guy from that movie about getting revenge on an ex. Just remembered- Tomcats!