Black Science #3 continues down the path of weird. Writer Rick Remender, and his trusty artist pal Matteo Scalera are throwing a whole lot of the bizarre out at one time. On one hand, it’s incredibly cool just to lean back and take the ride, but on the other, Black Science has to formulate a story or it will get bogged down with too many characters.
Grant McKay and his team are pretty much facing immediate death. Grant, a man who is incredibly intelligent but not smart enough to see how terrible his actions are, lies dying at the foot of a war between what look like Germans from WWII and Indians, though these Indians have robotic suits and a magic shaman that can cure even a giant hole in the chest.
Trying to save Grant, his team attempts to kidnap the shaman. At point is crusty solider Chief Ward, followed by Grant’s assistant Shawn, plus Kadir, the lecherous boss. Their attempts to steal the shaman are thwarted by a giant robot that looks oddly like a Transformer.
Meanwhile, Grant’s family and Rebecca, who is not just part of the team but also the woman Grant is cheating with, are forced into some life changing decisions in order to survive. Remender is walking a thin line here. When he steps back and gives his characters their deserved beat, they become much more interesting. Rebecca’s dedication and revulsion towards Grant, Chief Ward’s constant guilt about not being good enough to save his men from the decisions of others, and even Kadir, the once simply ruthless boss, is given room to grow. I’m assuming the other characters will expand in upcoming issues, which is part of the thin line. If Remender doesn’t establish this large group quickly, it could become tedious to try and work everyone out.
Matteo Scalera excels in this issue. The dimensional world our heroes are trapped on is vicious, but Scalera finds the beauty in it. His character work is so crisp that he brings a certain regal sense to the Indian tribe, and a youthful innocence to the Germans. In the scene where Rebecca must end a life to save theirs, Scalera really allows the scene to breathe, which makes the impact devastating.
While the blurred focus of Black Science is unnerving, Remender and Scalera are executing a very challenging brew of ideas.
(4 Story, 4 Art)