With reality collapsing around them, and their very existence as autonomous beings in question, anarchist scientist Grant McKay and his wife Sara must literally move Heaven and Earth if they are to see their two children again in Black Science #38 from Image Comics.

Black Science #38 ReviewBlack Science #38

Writer:  Rick Remender
Artist:  Matteo Scalera
Colorist: Moreno Diniso
Letterer:  Rus Wooton
Editor: Sebastian Girner
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: September 5th, 2018
Price: $3.99

Previously in Black Science: When Grant McKay devised the Pillar, he intended it as a device enabling travel through alternate dimensions.  Instead, it catapulted him and his family into a riotous multiverse, endangering their lives and separating them seemingly forever.  Now, with his family safe, reality has begun to unravel.  Find out if Grant and his wife can save not only their home reality, but their very existence in Black Science #38.

FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION

At the center of the Onion, as an infinite number of realities crash together, stand scientists Grant and Sara McKay, counting the cost of their adventures, to themselves, their children and the very structure of the multiverse itself.

Black Science #38 is largely a meditation on the nature of existence.  The telling line in the issue, ‘Life’s a game you play while never being able to accept it’s a game,’ sum up the central conceit.  Not only this, but Grant and Sara also come face to face with their true selves, beings whose existence observing the universe creates countless realities, and the duo must to face the knowledge that they are the dream of dreamers.

Or are they?  While Grant, no doubt beaten down by the rigors of his previous adventures, is more prepared to accept the proposition, Sara provides a countervailing viewpoint.  She doesn’t doubt her love for her husband and her children – from her perspective, those feelings validate her existence  And while the two confront their disparate beliefs, a nullification wave is crashing through reality, destroying existence in its path, and is about to fall on their heads.

Black Science #38 is a high concept issue that mines familiar philosophical points of view for startling effect.  Writer Rick Remender has yet again crafted a compelling issue that combines that high concept while gearing the series up for its final story arc.  Artist Matteo Scalera combines the intimate conversations between Grant and Sara, with the epic grandeur of the issue’s setting, never better exemplified than on page 22, where their expression of love is set against the end of reality.

CHOICE IS REAL

What began as a pulpy seeming series dealing with strange environments and even stranger creatures has evolved into an intelligent series that doesn’t take its audience for idiots.  Remender presents enough information that even a reader who hasn’t consumed every issue can quickly gain a firm sense of what has transpired before, and where the series is leading.  Scalera’s bold artwork easily encompasses the fantastic setting, with a city on the edge of forever, strange aliens and even stranger technology.  Moreno Diniso’s coloring is a delight, bringing the artwork to life and giving two dimensional figures a real sense of, ironically, given the issue’s main them, reality.

BOTTOM LINE

Amidst a sea of spandex, mighty thews and often mindless battles, it is still a treat to come across a title that manages to engage both the intellect and the senses throughout its entire length.  Black Science is one such title, and with issue 38, a great many threads come together as Remender begins to prepare to wind up the series.  The writing and artwork combine effortlessly, testament to the long-standing relationship between writer and artist.  In many ways, this is the perfect jumping on point for anyone new to the title, or those who may have drifted away.  And it is a reminder to those of us who did drift away, to immediately turn around and find those earlier issues.  Essential reading.

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About Author

Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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