I’ve always been a huge fan of multiversal existence. The idea that every decision we make yields an infinite number of alternate realities based on the ones we didn’t; lives which follow the roads we chose to discard – hence the title of my blog site. It’s also the one thing that brings me a curious sense of comfort in a reality which has been the staging area for acts of stupidity from yours truly. There haven’t been a lot, mind you, but the few “winners” have had emotionally profound effects on this Eric’s life – a lost love and a lost friend to be precise. Through nothing more than selfish endeavors and unabashed greedy inclinations, I successfully pushed away two of the most important people to ever grace my existence; two people who, for whatever reason, were drawn to me – in the end, to their own detriment. It is for this reason that I can empathize with Grant McKay’s shortcomings – Rick Remender’s hero in his sci-fi tale Black Science. A brilliant scientist who, in every aspect of his life, has an aversion to conventional rules and boundaries. An anarchist, if you will, raging against authority in all of its forms. Yet he soon comes to find how destructive his emotional immaturity can truly be.
Remender’s tale begins with McKay and a group stranded in a foreign land – a land thriving with strange creatures and landscapes. The reader quickly comes to discover that this is another dimension – an alternate reality – to which our group has traveled. The device responsible for this interdimensional trek is called The Pillar, and was created by McKay with help from his budding group of scientists. Only problem is, it’s damaged. This malfunction has thus stuck McKay and his compatriots within a Quantum Leap sort of situation: they can travel from one dimension to another but can’t control when and where their next “leap” will take them; each leap hopefully transporting them back to their own reality.
Those readers who are familiar with Rick Remender’s work already know the gentleman has a knack for brilliant characterization, drafting dialogue for his cast which makes them not only interesting, but wholly relatable. Although his work also encompasses the mainstream superhero genre, it’s his creator-owned work which, in my opinion, highlights just how skilled with the proverbial pen he is; Black Science is no exception. The story follows a great cast of characters – characters who each contribute in their own important way to the story’s narrative. Remender has given us a group to root for as well as a few individuals you’d sooner see karma pummel into a bloody pulp. Volume One of the title’s trade sets up a great environment ripe for some interesting storytelling – both of the sci-fi and human variety. As a loyal and avid reader of the medium, I know firsthand just how backlogged our must-read lists can be. However, trust me when I say anything from Remender should be at the top. Black Science is most assuredly a contender for that spot.