Zeb Larson reviews Black Science #21…
“GODWORLD” Conclusion. Grant comes to rescue his daughter but she’s not daddy’s little girl anymore. All hail the Godqueen!
Grant McKay finally comes face-to-face with a long-lost member of his crew in this issue, after several issues spent just trying to remember where he was in the universe. This brings us to the end of the ‘Godworld’ arc, and I have to say, it’s a good ending. Compared to prior Black Science arcs, it’s not crushingly depressing for the reader, and it actually feels like Grant gets to walk away from all of this with a shot at finding his people. I know I’ll kick myself for this later, but for the first time, it feels like things are looking a bit up. Warning: I will be discussing spoilers from here on out.
The issue picks up with Grant noticing something disturbing: whole sections of the multiverse are dead, but in the sense that there is absolutely nothing there. In a brief conversation with Hal (his nickname for the computer), he explores the possibility that with an infinite number of Grant McKays, their pillar jumps would punch tiny holes into the fabric of the multiverse. Those holes become a problem when somebody reaches an antimatter dimension, and the resulting explosion follows those holes and obliterates everything.
However, that quickly gets sidelined when he finds one his team’s suits. It’s Rebecca, but it’s not this dimension’s Rebecca. When Rebecca arrived in this world, she killed and replaced her counterpart so that she could enjoy her life. Sure enough, Grant dismantles that by providing evidence of Rebecca’s murder and confronts her, angrily reminding her that she manipulated him solely to get to this point. Instead of killing her, Grant leaves her behind as the police arrive.
The revelation about the long-term damage of the Pillar is an interesting one, even if it’s mostly shunted off to the side by the revenge story. What does it say about Grant that in building a device that would visit every conceivable alternate reality, he never considered A: other versions of him would be doing it constantly, and B: anti-matter universes would be a fact of life that could function like a big bomb? At some level, he’s careless, and this is our thousandth reminder that Grant is probably the last person you want handling powerful technology. But it also says that up until now, Grant has been thinking too small, contemplating only the one version of himself rather than the big picture.
Thinking in the big picture is the real way to actually become a hero. Back on the Roman planet, Grant was chasing the right impulse in saving all of those people, but he forgot about that millipede death-cult right on his heels. The right thing at the wrong moment still ends up becoming the wrong thing. Up until now, those are the kinds of mistake he’s made, and they’ve held him back. I think that’s what he’s getting at with the quote from his father about tomatoes being a fruit, but still being wrong for a fruit salad. If you can strike that balance, maybe you can actually make heroic decisions.
What about Grant’s decision to stay his hand and not just kill her? Inarguably, he goes for the crueller option, and he knows it. He even says as much. Then again, all he really does is force her to face the consequences of her actions. I imagine that this is the last we’ll see of her (at least, this version of her), as her purpose in the story has been taken care of, and she can look forward to a long time in a prison here. Also, if anybody deserves payback besides Grant, it’s her.
This has been a good story arc, although I want to see how the new Grant will break from the old Grant (instead of just feeling better about himself). I imagine paying for his sins will start when he finds his children. I also want him to put his crew back together; as much fun as it is watching Grant chat with the computer, I’d like some more people again.