Black Science: The Beginner’s Guide To Entropy by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera – A Book Review

This beautiful hardcover collects issues 1-16 of the Black Science comic book series.

You may remember I reviewed a collected edition of Black Science encompassing issues 1-6 back in 2014.  At the time, I loved the art, I loved the concept, I loved the colors, I just didn’t love the characters – I never felt connected or invested.  If you’re unfamiliar with the book, rogue scientist and terrible father Grant McKay creates a machine called “The Pillar” which allows travel between planes of reality.  The machine activates unexpectedly, though, and Grant, his team, his two children, and two corporate malcontents are taken on an unexpected,and possibly fatal, trip through realities.

I do have to say that this edition, which I got for free through Amazon Vine, included 10 more issues than I’d read before.  I must admit that it introduces an entirely new concept, one that is absolutely riveting.  Somewhere between issues 6 and 16, Remender moves beyond simple interdimensional travel and delves into string theory, parallel dimensions, and even multiple versions of people destined to repeat cycle after cycle.  It adds a layer of depth to both the story and characters that I didn’t pick up on in the first 6 issues.

The book itself is gorgeously produced.  It’s over-sized which amplifies the already magnificent art.  It’s got great weight, and the hardcovers are solid and resilient.  The back of the book includes alternate covers from the single issues, sketches and designs, and actual scripts.

With a $49.99 cover price, I imagine you’ll need to be a huge fan of the book or the creators to purchase on your own.  However, this could make a great gift for the serious comic book fan in your life or the science fiction aficionado.  It will definitely be considered an appreciated luxury item by book lovers.

 

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Black Science: How To Fall Forever by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera – A Book Review

I saw this book earned a little buzz so I thought I’d check it out.  The premise is Grant McKay and his team have broken through the barrier between infinite dimensions.  The machine making this capable, The Pillar, got damaged though, so they only have a little time before they jump to another world, and if they want to make the jump, they better be near The Pillar or they will be left behind.  McKay’s two children were sucked along for the ride, as were two corporate representatives who don’t get along with McKay at all.  McKay is your narrator.  He is anti-authoritarian, smug, arrogant, cheats on his wife, and is not all that likable.

This first volume begins with McKay trying to escape some aliens and race back to The Pillar before the next jump.  Over the course of the volume, you discover why his kids are with him, why his wife is not, why the team seems so ill prepared, the identity of his mistress, and why the two corporate representatives accompany them.

The artwork is quite stunning.  Scalera creates some impressive aliens and exquisite settings.  His panels keep the story moving along wonderfully, and he delivers some dynamic, fast-paced action.  My only complaint is that because McKay’s crew wear the same uniforms, they tend to look quite a bit alike.  I appreciate the realism, because they likely would wear the same suits, but at times it’s hard to tell who is who.

Dean White does the painted art, and let me tell you, his colors alone make this book worth the price.  I have zero talent at colors, so I’ve learned to appreciate that which I cannot do.  White is a master.  Gorgeous colors.

In the end, though, while the book is very good, I can’t say I’m hooked.  I bought the first volume because I was sure I’d love it, but I didn’t.  I’ll probably check out the second volume when it comes to a local library.  I simply never connected to the characters.  McKay is an anti-hero, and that isn’t a bad thing, but I never really cared about him.  I never found any common ground.  I never necessarily rooted for him.  I can’t really say I have to know where his story goes next.

Of course, this is just my opinion.  I loved most of the art, the story proved interesting, the colors were beautiful, so there is a good chance you may very well adore it.  If the premise captured your interest, I encourage you to see for yourself.