Black Science is still an ongoing comic as of this writing, with Issue #42 planned as the series conclusion. This omnibus compilation goes back to the beginning, presenting Issues #1 – 16, the first three story arcs (and the first three trade paperback collections). It’s a great introduction to this pulp-inspired science fiction adventure, and a reminder of the roots of the story for long time readers.
For those new to the series: the story follows anarchist scientist Grant McKay and his team and family as they are thrown through dimensions while trying to repair his dimensional device, “the Pillar.” The original intent was to travel through different dimensions, gathering technology which could improve things on our Earth (e.g. cures for diseases like cancer). But things go wrong right from the beginning, as Grant and the team find themselves on the run from violent aliens during what was supposed to be a simple, safe inaugural run (Grant even brought his kids).
The story begins on the run, an adrenaline rush of action, followed by flashbacks explaining how we got here—an approach that will continue through the rest of the series. It is remarkable how many of the story dynamics are established in the first few issues. The conflicts within the team (especially between McKay and his boss Kadir); the appearance of other versions of main characters from other worlds in the Eververse; the struggle to reunite the McKays with their children; the damage that the Pillar is causing to the fabric of reality; and the encounters with exotic (and frequently unfriendly) alien species: all mainstays of the series, all set up in these first story arcs.
Black Science is visually intoxicating, all bright colors and inventive character designs (including artist Matteo Scalera’s distinctive sharply angled noses). This ‘Remastered Edition’ represents an improvement in the binding of the deluxe hardcover: apparently the original version was too tightly bound to allow for easy viewing of double page splashes, which are frequent (each issue has at least one on the title pages). I was working with digital files—so can’t comment directly—but this edition should prove more durable in library collections. There is extensive bonus material: a variant cover gallery; character design sketches and color studies; process sequences of pencils, inks, and colors; and script pages for Issue #1. This would be a good purchase for libraries who need to replace their paperback editions of Black Science, or for those looking to expand their adult sci-fi graphic novel collections.
The Mature rating is well earned. While there are no sexually explicit images, there are frequent references to sexual and romantic conflict, including occasional rough language. Not to mention the nearly constant cartoon violence.
Black Science Premiere, vol. 1: The Beginners’ Guide to Entropy Remastered Edition
By Rick Remender
Art by Matteo Scalera, Dean White, Michael Spicer
Image Comics, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: M/Mature
Series Reading Order
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NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)
Character Traits: Black, Middle Eastern, White