Black Science #3 – Spoiler free review.
It feels like it’s been forever since Rick Remender was dropping critically acclaimed indie comics on the masses. I mean he brings them out infrequently enough that it feels like there’s a long period of time between these things when there really isn’t. Remender keeps himself (and us) busy with his work at Marvel, with, in my opinion, a mixed degree of success (Venom was amazing, Uncanny Avengers not so much, I dropped Captain America after six issues due to, ahem, issues with the art). When he dropped Black Science and Deadly Class on us recently, I was floored, not only by how good they were but that Remender was putting his energy back into the indies again.
With that being said, Black Science #3 continues the trip of well, black science. Like the science version of black magic. Dark, bordering-on-illegal, intangible, and improbable science being used to explore new worlds and gather new information. This personifies the idea that science can be cool (cool being used in the sense of badass, and eliciting a general level of excitement from someone who may have thought that what is currently being called cool was not cool before). The characters may be little more than archetypes at this point but they are slowly developing into slowly nuanced, almost real people getting into all of these wild situations. Yet the moments that are character-focused feel kind of like clichés, even if they do add to the layers of personality the book has.
Mateo Scalera and Dean White’s combination of John Romita Jr.-isms and painted art respectively absolutely rocks this issue. Black Science #3 is infused with a kinetic verve in the illustrations, with everything feeling like it moves at the pace of an obscenely short 80-minute action flick. The use of heavy black lines and scratchiness-resembling-rain (and a film reel) provides a sense of urgency to already very busy comic. The pulpy feel of the art meshes near perfectly with Remender’s fractured sentences and tense dialogue.
Although Deadly Class mastered the art and/or the Zen of cool here, Black Science #3 proves that this series is not too far behind in reaching that level. What would make this even cooler is seeing some of the real black science and the twisted machinations it brings. The book hasn’t gone deep enough into the depths of truly hellish and immoral stuff. Other than that, it’s still pretty damn good.
My score: 4/5