It’s always frustrating, when doing advance reviews of material, when the one thing that above all else makes it terrific also just happens to be a massive spoiler. What’s a critic to do?
Try, I guess is the answer – but without the twist, whilst still featuring the stunning, surrealist art from Scalera, and Remender’s trademark organic dialogue, not a lot else happens! You can see the bind I’m in.
The issue opens cold, establishing for us that we’re dealing with liars, before deftly exploring the important difference between a white lies and black. Remender has a knack for examining the minutiae of human interaction in interesting ways – see his work in Captain America and Strange Girl to name but two, not to mention, y’know, Black Science’s previous four issues in their entirety – and he’s on crackling form here.
Then there’s the reveal, the big spoiler, what I’m not supposed to talk about! I’ll say no more. I can assure you, however, that what happens next is akin to the ripples a single drop of water can create – and when that drop is the work of a liar, you can imagine the ramifications, given the circumstances.
The issue’s true strength is the masterful way that it weaves its exposition and narrative together, laying down a hell of a lot of new lore and backstory without ever feeling like it’s pausing for breath – details in the gorgeously coloured art and the dialogue keeping you up to speed, even at the strangest of turns.
The only real criticism I can think of is that the cover is somewhat misleading – yeah, I know, scraping the barrel a bit. But here I was hoping, nay expecting a race-against-the-clock battle against those crazy white-haired beasties on the cover, and the issue doesn’t really arrive at even the possibility of it until the ‘To be continued’ that it closes with! False advertising?! Who cares?!
When the stakes are this high, and so well told at that, we can deal with a curveball every so often. Read this series. Immediately.
The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney