Zeb Larson reviews Black Science #19…
“GODWORLD,” Part Three. A meeting with the Godhead.
We finally get to the bottom of the little piece of hell that Grant has been trapped in for the last couple of issues. This is an issue less about Grant confronting his mistakes than finally being able to move past them so that he can make them right. Now, after a few introspective issue, Grant can try for a do-over on saving the day. Warning: I will be discussing spoilers from here on out.
Grant flashes back to a day on a construction site with his father, who reminds him of the importance of trying to build and create. He then disappears as Grant tries to follow, the heavens quite literally opening up on him. Grant’s mother returns to scream and curse him before he finally has enough and casts her down. An entity is revealed, who says that Grant initially asked this creature to take his memories away to deal with the guilt. The purpose of all of this was so Grant would stop punishing himself over and over again for his childhood. Renewed with this purpose, Grant finds he has finished the Pillar, and is able to power it up. He finds that the suit beacons are active, and sets off for the closest one.
In general, this issue is a solid one, though it basically confirms what I suspect many of us were already thinking about Grant and where he’s been. That said, there were a few lingering questions which this issue didn’t answer for me. If Grant’s memories were gone or at least Swiss cheese, where did the vision of his brother come from? If the alien did it, it sort of undercuts the idea that Grant came to this on his own…but if he didn’t, it’s weird that it took this long. If it was all just a dream, then the alien is a little clunkier. Also, while I generally love the art in this series, Grant chasing after his father carrying a trunk on his back might have been a little bit ham-handed.
On the other hand, the theme of forgiveness resonates pretty strongly here. Grant has made a lot of mistakes, and at time he’s been sort of insufferable. That being said though, he’s spent most of this series trying to protect his loved ones. Grant didn’t need to be punished, because he’s spent most of his life punishing himself for things that were beyond his control. In fact, he went so far with that, that he couldn’t appreciate anything good that he did. It’s not just that his whole life was an exercise in forgetting his childhood, it’s that his self-loathing has stopped him from trying to be a hero.
How paranoid am I about this series that I’m waiting for Remender to pull the rug out from under us? Grant has never been able to get exactly what he wants, after all. I have no reason to expect that something bad will happen beyond the fact that something bad always happens, which really makes me hope this goes smoothly.
Still, how does that mesh with Grant’s attempt at failed heroism back in #15? Did Grant fail there because he did what others expected him to do, rather than what actually needed to be done? I might be able to buy that explanation. In that moment, he would have gone farther just helping to save his family rather than trying to be everybody’s savior. Fixing the Eververse might be beyond his capabilities, but saving his family shouldn’t be. Although there are those telepathic ghost aliens to deal with…