The premise for this graphic novel/comic series is really wonderful. A team of scientist have developed a dimension-traveling machine. It works well, except that they can’t control where it will take them. We start the first book right in the thick of things, with two dimension-hoppers running for their lives from some very unusual looking creatures. One of the travellers doesn’t make it and we know right away that this isn’t going to be your ordinary book where everyone survives each new threat that comes their way.
Grant, who tends to be the leader of the group, is traveling with his children. Given the dangers of this dimension-hopping, I’m not clear why it was that the kids were ever permitted to go along. Of course the danger will be heightened when children might be in trouble.
The device use for hopping is referred to as ‘the pillar’ and it becomes clear that the pillar was damaged, sabotaged, which is why they can not control the destination or the timing of the hops.
The book moves along a little too quickly for me, with each comic book (this graphic novel collects the first six issues of the comic series) basically taking up one unique story. This gives it an episodic feeling, much like television shows like Land of the Lost or Lost in Space (this could be titled Lost in Black Science). I think that if I were buying the individual issues on the comic stand, I’d probably appreciate this quality, and it would certainly make it easier for someone to pick up a current issue and not feel as though they’d missed out on too much. Unfortunately, that has a less than positive effect on reading the series as a longer story in a graphic novel. Here, as the issues went on, I thought to myself…okay, what are we going to get this time? And sadly, nothing was ever as intriguing as the world and creatures we encountered with the first few pages!
There is, of course, the overarching story of the pillar, its invention, and the sabotage, that we haven’t fully investigated, and hopefully, in future issues of the comics and graphic novels, more of this will come out, rather than spending so much time escaping each new dimension’s baddies.
Whereas the story leaves a little something to be desired, the art is beautiful. Matteo Scalera and Dean White have teamed up to create something really spectacular to behold. While the character’s aren’t in the utmost realistic mode…a bit on the caricature side…it works really well here. The colors are stunning.
The book has as many possibilities as author Rick Remender can imagine, and that limitless quality can really be an asset. I only hope that he doesn’t try to burn through all his ideas in just a few issues. Give us, the reader, a little time to digest the locations and the implications of the locations. It can also mean that we’ll meet some characters, other than the scientist team, that we might come to appreciate.
Looking for a good book? Black Science, Volume One is an original series concept of dimension travelling, with gorgeous art, and promises to be a strong series.
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Black Science, Volume 1: How to Fall Forever
author: Rick Remender
artists: Matteo Scalera and Dean White (colors)
publisher: Image Comics
paperback, 152 pages