Review: Science Dog #2

Published on May 20th, 2011

If you don’t know who Science Dog is, you’re not really a fan of Robert Kirkman. You may not see this character as much as you do Invincible or even Brit, but he’s a big part of the Invincible Universe. In fact, Science Dog is referenced in pretty much everything Kirkman has written. You watch The Walking Dead, right? Well, take a look at little Carl’s t-shirt. That’s the Science Dog symbol.

sciencedog2Science Dog was an idea that Kirkman, along with Cory Walker created that sadly, never got picked up. This Scottish Terrier that became a super intelligent, humanoid being during a lab accident was a character that Kirkman loved and, over the years, has slipped into his books wherever he could. Most notably, he appeared in back-up stories at the end of Invincible #25, 50, and 75. The first two parts to this story were re-released together in Science Dog #1, and part 3 was put into Science Dog #2 followed by the, until now, unreleased ending to this years-in-the-making story that I now hold in my hands.

I was very glad to see this book and it became the first one I read this week. This story was not what I expected. I thought that this was going to be a fun little story that was printed only to entertain me. What I actually read, turned out to be a very sad, but heart-warming story.

When some mysterious aliens run out of fuel, they recruit Science Dog to help them create a synthetic fuel. Science Dog agrees to help out and enters a stasis room that keeps him from needing food or feeling the passage of time. When Science leaves the room he finds out he’s been in there for almost a year. He immediately returns to Earth, only to find that his greatest enemy has killed his best friend and ruined the planet. The only thing that Science Dog can do is return to his lab and try to repair an unfinished time machine to undue what happened.

It’s really sad to see Science Dog lose his best friends as his obsession takes over. While reading this, I was shocked to see the direction that Kirkman decided to take in this book. It’s definitely not the kind of thing you would expect in a comic book where the main character is a talking dog. I loved the ending. It was one of those bittersweet endings that you don’t see very often, but when you do, it’s something that sticks with you for days.

After the story, there’s a letter from Editorial Director, Sina Grace. It’s a really great letter that puts the book into proper perspective. It proves that this book isn’t something the creators did for a paycheck. This is something that everyone involved really cares about. And you can tell while you’re reading this, that nothing about it is half-assed. I really wish that this was an ongoing series, but I understand that quality like this can’t be restricted by deadlines. If I can get a Science Dog story as good as this once every couple of years, I think I’m okay with that.

Ken Zeider