Old school. Well, old school for some. Older school for others. For still others, it might be “Hey, cool sci-fi genre comix, man!”
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we? It’s, like, 1984 or maybe 1985 and my grade five school buddy hands me an issue of Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar, published by Epic Comics. I can’t make heads or tails of the story. It’s issue number “mid-teen” and there are crazy space-faring characters with names like “Vanth” wielding blasters and powerful swords, mixing it up with sorcerers names Syzygy, all under the oppression of a galactic religion called The Church of the Instrumentality.
It was absolute insanity – and it was captivating. I didn’t know it then, but here was an early instance of long-form graphic novel storytelling that would set the stage for the future of the comic book art form.
That merging of genres: science fiction and fantasy, religion and politics, is back today. Old school wonder is new school excitement with the release of Black Science #1.
Written by: Rick Remender
Illustrated by: Matteo Scalera and Dean White
Published by: Image Comics
Image Comics is the premiere publishing of genre comics these days. With recent titles such as Peter Panzerfaust, Saga, East of West, Lazarus, Umbral and Velvet, Image has been able to scoop up fan-favourite and award-winning creators from the big two publishers and publish new titles with new ideas to great acclaim.
And now comes Black Science. Created by writer Rick Remender (Uncanny Avengers) and artist Matteo Scalera (Secret Avengers and Indestructible Hulk), Black Science tells the story of Grant McKay, a former member of The Anarchistic Order of Scientists, who has been able to punch a hole in reality. He and his lost, but adventurous band of dimensionauts travel through long-forgotten, dark realms of alien worlds, full of ghosts, ancient monsters, and even stranger beings as they try to find their way back home! Here, in the first story arc, you’ll meet the Sons of the Wakan Tech-Tanka and the savages of Europa!
Scalera’s art is rich: pencils with ink wash that evokes the work of sci-fi and fantasy artists such as Frank Frazetta and Boris Vellejo. It’s noir at its’ essence, but his landscapes and character designs are other-worldly in every way, a perfect blend for a series that has so much going for it. The painterly colouring work of Dean White only adds to the great sci-fi aesthetic. Planets are strange and dimension travel is even stranger! There’s nothing on the comic book shelves that looks like this right now!
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up Black Science #1. Go old school in a brand new way!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!