In the pages of Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, most of the members of that assassination team have lost something. Wolverine lost his son. Angel lost his life while Psylocke lost her love. Fantomex lost his independence. And Deadpool? Well, as in almost all things, Deadpool was the oddity in Remender’s story about the moral ambiguity of these heroes.
Imagine you’re thrown back to 1987. You are are teenager who hates school, grades sucking, jocks are out to get you and your friends, can’t focus in class. BUT, the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin’s assassin, teachers are also killers just older and wiser, and the crush you have as a literal body count. Welcome to Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, the most brutal high school on earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of killers to train. At Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, the backstabbing is literal and the pain can get you killed, which makes Deadly Class quite the exciting comic.
Rick Remender’s Venom series stands as one of the most fascinating concepts for a superhero story. That is to say, if reading a book about a definitive 90’s Spider-Man villain dressed to look like a pre-order exclusive for the next Call of Duty sounds like a complete waste of time, good news because this book would agree. What makes Venom such a bizarre series is that while everything from its story to artwork tries to emulate a grim and gritty dark age feel, its central character and themes are in direct contradiction to that entire era of comics.
Low, the new high concept series from Rick Remender & Greg Tocchini (who previously worked together on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Force), creates a world in which the sun, in the throes of going nova, has forced humanity deep into the seas to escape the increased radiation, where they await the results of probes sent out into space to locate habitable worlds (we’re meant to assume this is all taking place on Earth, and an authors note from Remender in the back of the issue suggests as much, but it’s interesting to note that this is never made explicit in the story itself, and there’s nothing that says this couldn’t all be taking place on some alien planet). As the first issue opens, thousands of years have passed with no response from the probes, and the underwater cities have dwindled to just a few, with resources running low.
Black Science is the comic book that got me back into reading comic books. I’d stopped reading for a few years and was only reading Walking Dead when I saw the first issue in my local comic book store. I love science-fiction, and the book looked fun. Well, it’s been bad for my bank account, but this comic book has been simply incredible. Black Science is what I wish Sliders had become, with a totally limitless imagination for different realities and just how alien everything can be. Beware: spoilers do lie ahead, and this is not a book that is kind to its characters.