Black Science #1
By Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, & Dean White
The anticipation for Black Science has been off the charts since it was announced. Not only personally, but from seemingly the entire comic community as Rick Remender rejoins Image Comics for another creator owned series. A place where he created series like Strange Girl and Fear Agent—until it was moved to Dark Horse. Now, his other creator owned work, like The End League and the rest of Fear Agent, is probably some of his best work. Has he done great things at Marvel? Sure. Uncanny X-Force comes to mind; that was a fantastic series that everybody needs to read. His work on Punisher, Venom, Captain America and Uncanny Avengers, among many other series, are all also something you need to check out because Rick Remender is the real deal. He is a top tier writer and anything with his name on it is worth the cover price, but with this new creator owned series he gets to show just how good he is when he gets to write his own stories without boundaries that a place like Marvel have in place.
From the very first page you’re sucked into Black Science. The mood, the characters, the setting, the art; everything about this book just screams awesome and well thought out by Remender and artist Matteo Scalera. The initial feeling was something similar to Fear Agent, but darker. That’s not a bad thing either, because Fear Agent was arguably one of the best things that Rick Remender has done and if you consider his resume above that says a lot. Black Science has people in space suits running from crazy alien-fish men riding eels with a narration of someone who regrets dabbling in “black science” and is desperate to save his family, plus electrified frog-men and crazy turtle islands. While you get that hint of Fear Agent, this is still its own entity and something entirely new from Mr. Remender.
And then you have Matteo Scalera and Dean White’s work translating all those crazy things to the page. Can you say, “Holy Shit”? If Remender outdid himself on the scripting end of things then so did Scalera and White when it comes to the art. Scalera’s designs are stellar on every character and creature we have the pleasure of seeing in issue one. His flow and panel design are thought out and executed to perfection and there’s not a spot on any page he hasn’t used to heighten the sense of the world Remender has brought the reader to. Dean White’s colors take those designs and flow to the next level with some brilliantly colored panels. Dark tones, glowing reds and blues and purples, the yellow of the fish-people; everything has been picked with purpose and put on the page with care and executed perfectly making the art on this book stand out from pretty much everything else. It’s unique, well planned and well executed.
For a moment, let’s talk about lettering and design. This stuff tends to be forgotten or overlooked for some reason, but Rus Wooton’s work on the Black Science logo, the design of the book and his lettering within is top notch. His lettering is different from the same old stuff you get with the big two and even most comic books. It stands out and it looks and fits great with the rest of the feel of the book. His logo, admitted by Remender as being “one of my favorites from any comic ever”, is fantastic. It’s crisp and clean and it sets itself apart from other logos out there. Just wanted to say what a great job Wooton did with this book.
Is that everything, then? Was it all covered? I don’t know if any review is going to do this book justice, because it’s one of those things you just have to experience for yourself. Remender is a hell of a talent, as is Scalera and White and obviously Wooton, but this is another level. This series just might become not only the measuring stick for the work of this team after Black Science but other comic books as well. It’s different, and the comic industry needs different, and it’s exciting and interesting and visually stunning. If you don’t read Remender, or Image, or you’re stuck on the Big Two or whatever get your ass to the comic store or get onto Comixology and pick this book up. Do whatever you have to do to get this book, because if issue one is any indication, this is going to be one to remember.