Zeb Larson reviews Black Science #22…
In a hotheaded attempt to rescue his daughter, Grant McKay threatens to unravel a peace treaty between three godlike races, putting the entire Eververse at risk! Big changes, bigger action, and a stunning climax that will shake the world of BLACK SCIENCE to its very foundations!
Now that we’ve left Godworld and Rebecca behind, Grant is off to find his long-lost daughter Pia. He finds her, but it does not go very well at all. This is one of Black Science’s strongest issues. Underneath all of the science-fiction and the fantastically weird world of Tarana, there’s a story about parenthood and the difficulty of trying to make amends to your children. Punishing Rebecca was an easy thing to do because there was no trust involved at any level, but Grant has to win that from a person who has no reason to trust him. It’s not going to be easy.
Pia has taken up residence on the world of Tarana, a place inhabited by three different warring tribes who have only just been made to accept a fragile peace by Pia. She’s at a ceremony honoring some sacred items when guess-who literally crash-lands directly into them, putting this fragile peace in jeopardy. Grant insists that his intentions are good, but is Pia going to listen to him?
I loved the dig at Gen X parents: “part of a generation that cherishes its adolescence.” More to the point, we really needed this issue after all of the darkness and grimness in the past few issues, because it brings some levity and humor to the table. Pia’s reaction to her father is its own kind of uniquely adolescent disdain, albeit a disdain that has been earned by having a man who is both monumentally self-absorbed and a mad scientist to boot. For that matter, it’s entertaining to watch Grant completely fall apart as he drinks; perhaps it’s a good thing that he doesn’t make a habit out of it. If you enjoy faces frozen in comedic horror, this is a gem.
Yet underneath the humor of the “dad’s drunk” bit, we can see a microcosm of Pia and Grant’s relationship. Grant is his own special kind of alcoholic parent, and alcoholic parents have an astonishing capacity to behave narcissistically and make demands on their children that are unfair. Grant would know; he had an alcoholic parent too. Now Pia’s old enough that she’s not a kid anymore, and having to clean up Grant’s messes has gotten old. So while he might be coming in and insisting he’s changed, that means very little to Pia, because he’s done nothing but create messes from the get-go. Why should she believe him? When he tells her she can’t give up on family…well, why?
Of course, the challenge that has been supplied in fixing the peace could be the ticket to Grant’s redemption, though that presupposes that Remender would be kind enough to allow Grant to enjoy that redemption. I can’t help but feel that there won’t be a happy ending here, and while Grant may be right about the difference between being loved and being in love, there’s no evidence necessarily that that’s true for Pia. Maybe the lesson is about learning to walk away from somebody when everything you do just ends up hurting them.