That opening page. Matteo Scalera and Dean White don't take first impressions lightly, and the rough, bright, splash that greets us is the perfect segue back into BLACK SCIENCE's heated drama. The painted work on this book is truly incredible, and it's really a key driver of the emotional beats. The story is fantastic, but it's taken to the next level with vivid blasts of color and expertly-placed textures and frenetic brushstrokes.
While BLACK SCIENCE has been consistently interesting and fun to look at, this issue slaps us in the face and reminds us that we signed on for a story about anarchist scientists, and we should be ready for things to get heavy. It's the ending that we didn't see coming -- didn't believe, even as it unfolded throughout the whole issue -- that knocks this one out of the park. Holy arc-ender, McKay. If you've been waiting for the trade, this issue might make you want to start pulling singles.
And before things flash bright at this issue's -- and the arc's -- end, they ramp up. Team BLACK SCIENCE fired on all cylinders with this issue, opening in the middle of a tense action sequence, hurling Grant and Kadir into a weirder part of the world than even they expect, and ratcheting up again and again until the very end. There's a powerful combo of physical danger and emotional turmoil; each feeds the other, and both spiral out of control with expert pacing. By the end of the issue, we're knocked off our feet, and there are still some scary things lurking in the wings for the next arc.
I think I'm feeling a little bit gut-punched right now. Don't get me wrong; McKay is a jerk, but I think I just accepted him as a sort of brooding antihero, and never really expected anyone but him to lead POV on this story.
BLACK SCIENCE closes its first arc in a spectacular manner, and, as all great arc-enders do, leaves us wanting to know what's next. Remender & Co. are nailing this book, melding sci-fi, surrealism, and good old-fashioned human conflict, and taking readers on a strange interdimensional trip that they can't predict (but can certainly enjoy). There's non-stop action coupled with poignant reflection, and it's a slam dunk.