Rick’s re­minder

Re­mender’s lat­est cre­ator-owned se­ries is like a cross be­tween Indiana Jones and Fringe.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - READS - By MICHAEL CHEANG star2@thes­tar.com.my Black Sci­ence #1 rick re­mender, mat­teo Scalera, dean White Im­age comics

THIS was a strange, strange book. The first is­sue of Rick Re­mender’s new cre­ator-owned se­ries pretty much con­sists of the main char­ac­ter, Grant McKay, run­ning and run­ning in a strange alien land­scape set upon the back of a gi­ant turtle, fight­ing frog men and fish peo­ple, and gen­er­ally stir­ring up a whole lot of trou­ble while talk­ing to him­self, reminiscing about the things he should or should not have done.

It isn’t till three quar­ters of the way through the book that we sort of get an inkling of what is hap­pen­ing, and what the nar­ra­tor is ram­bling about.

But don’t get me wrong; as far as de­but is­sues go, Black Sci­ence is a real page-turner, and is a real re­minder that Re­mender hasn’t lost his orig­i­nal­ity yet, de­spite a pro­longed stint on Mar­vel’s Cap­tain Amer­ica and Uncanny Avengers.

Fun­nily enough, this de­but is­sue sort of re­minded me of Re­mender’s first arc on the Star-Span­gled Avenger’s Mar­vel Now re­launch, with the di­men­sion-hop­ping and strange alien life-forms. But that’s where the sim­i­lar­i­ties end.

As men­tioned, Black Sci­ence can be a bit vague and con­fus­ing at first, and pos­si­bly the clear­est ex­pla­na­tion of what the book is about can be found in a let­ter at the back of this first is­sue where Re­mender writes: “This is the jour­ney of a self-taught sci­en­tist who dis­obeyed the laws of men and delved into the for­bid­den black sciences and the in­cred­i­ble adventures they thrust him into.”

Ex­actly what th­ese “black sciences” are has not been re­vealed just yet, but with its throw­away ref­er­ences to pil­lars, coolants, jumps and fourth-di­men­sional walls, it’s clear that Re­mender hasn’t even be­gun to scratch the sur­face of his cre­ation.

He HAS set up an in­ter­est­ing premise for his char­ac­ters though, and de­spite flood­ing the text boxes with ex­po­si­tion, he man­ages keep the text clear and con­cise enough to give Mat­teo Scalera’s art space to shine.

At times, it felt as though I was read­ing two books here: the first a sci­ence fic­tion tale driven by Re­mender’s text and McKay’s nar­ra­tion; and the other, a pulse-rac­ing chase/es­cape story thrillingly brought to life by Scalera’s art.

Scalera’s art­work here is both fan­tas­ti­cal and com­pelling, man­ag­ing to cap­ture the ur­gency and pace of the is­sue’s “es­cape from an alien world” premise per­fectly as McKay runs from one prob­lem to another.

With a premise that feels like a cross be­tween Indiana Jones and Fringe, as well as art that man­ages to cap­ture the won­der of ad­ven­ture as well as the mys­tery of sci­ence in one go, this truly is one heck of a de­but is­sue.

The first is­sue of black­S­cience pretty much con­sists of the main char­ac­ter, Grant mcKay, run­ning and run­ning in a strange alien land­scape set upon the back of a gi­ant turtle

Th­ese frog peo­ple prob­a­bly don’t get the rain­bow con­nec­tion.

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