Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Black Science, Volume 3: Vanishing Pattern Review (Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera)


Spoilers ahoy! 

Grant McKay’s back from the dead and he’s more of a bumhole than ever! His Pillar – a trans-dimensional teleporting device – continues to prove to be a bad idea, sending the group to a futuristic Roman world where every shitty dimension traveller can turn on one another again. Bullshit middle and then Grant’s somehow a hero. 

So after this poor third volume, I’m giving up on Black Science. The first volume was good, the second was a muddled affair, and the third is just crap. There are flashbacks to Grant’s home life drama – Grant and his wife arguing over the time he’s spending away from his family working on the Pillar, Grant deciding to have an affair with his crazy lab assistant – which are so corny, Rick Remender should be slapped for resorting to cliche. 

A character suddenly reminds Grant that the whole point of this endeavour was to leave each dimension a better place after they’d gone. It’s arrogant idealistic crap but gives Grant something to do. The Shaman – who is the only one in the group who talks any sense, telling them that they need to destroy the Pillar – has a magic healing box that cures anything (which isn’t contrived at all). There’s also a mysterious plague killing off the futuristic Romans - this thing writes itself! Grant decides to grab a rocket pack, nick the Shaman’s magic box, fly up over the Romans’ city, and use the box to cure the plague. This guy’s supposed to be a genius too! 

How does he know it’ll work on everyone? Isn’t there a limit on the box’s powers – is there enough of whatever's in it for everyone? How does flying above one city and dispersing whatever’s in the box cure the entire planet/dimension? It’s so rushed and simplistic. 

Kadir does a 180 from the last book. First book = evil, second book = good for no reason, third book = back to evil again for no reason. His story here is to fight Some Guy. It's very inconsistent characterisation and a boring story to boot. Grrrrrrrreat… The group bicker some more, Grant proves again what a dickhead he is (he’s our “hero”!) and the book’s over, along with my interest in the series. 

Matteo Scalera’s art is decent though his limited range of character types makes his pages seem repetitive. Also those ridiculously pointy male faces are just awful – the noses seem to be getting worse as the series progresses! Morena Dinisio’s colours though are very good, eye-catching and vivid, much like previous colourists’ Michael Spicer and Dean White’s has been. 

Like the second volume, Black Science, Volume 3 is a dud. Well, at least Remender’s still got Deadly Class!

Black Science, Volume 3: Vanishing Pattern

1 comment:

  1. Come on Noel, it sucked from day one. It never was anything but cliches, and the most common cliches even. Sure the first trade had some mildly amusing dick humor and drug references, but it never was anything more than pre-packaged characters and a plot that was written more than 50 years ago. Much like East of West, Black Science is just easy pocket money for a writer cashing in on his name.

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