"Eclipse #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
Written by Zack Kaplan
Illustrated by Giovanni Timpano
Colored by Flavio Dispenza
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 15th, 2017
Ten years ago, the sun flared up and made going outside during the day impossible without special armor. You would literally burst into flames and your skin would melt off. Humanity has been driven underground, only surfacing during the night, if at all. Mega-corporation Solarity holds vast amounts of power. Meanwhile, a killer who can walk freely in the sun just shook things up considerably and created a ton of questions. Now, as Eclipse heads into its second arc, the world greatly expands.
Eclipse began as a mini-series and this is the first issue that turns it into an ongoing. The first four issues work as a standalone, but there are some questions left unanswered. This chapter begins to grow the mythology and explore additional aspects. It's handled well, working as a good jumping on point too, with a brief recap at the beginning of the book. There are two threads. The first deals with Solarity agent David Baxter as he's pulled into a secret mission outside in the barren wasteland. The second follows Cielo, the would-be victim of the aforementioned killer as she looks into her attacker as well as the connections to her father's company, Solarity. Both are pretty solid and work to solidify the crazy dystopian world these people live in.
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Before I go any further in this review, I have to take a minute to praise Giovanni Timpano's artwork. It is insanely detailed. It's amazing to see a spread of an underground marketplace that is full of people selling wares and there is just so much going on. Later on, there's an impressive shot of an interior of a building, filled with old odds and ends and assorted garbage. Each one is shown in meticulous detail. Even though they'll probably never reference that oscillating fan or old busted TV, these specifics work to establish the overall look and feel of Eclipse. This is a dark and dreary place.
This also comes across in Flavio Dispenza's colors. The city is rather drab and dingy. The sun doesn't shine when there's cement over your head. You get the sense of hopelessness throughout the book. This is contrasted well when David heads outside. The sun is SO bright. It pierces through the shadows like a knife, obliterating everything in its path.
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There's a particularly tense action scene as Baxter wrestles with some attackers out on the wasteland. The sun is a weapon here, so if you're able to toss your opponent into the light, you win by all accounts. Timpano's depiction of the sun's effects are brutal. Skin basically melts. It bubbles and pops with blood splattering everywhere. It's pure agony and there's nothing you can do to stop it. No amount of aloe vera is going to make that better.
Eclipse takes its first steps as an ongoing series and sticks the landing. This is a solid sci-fi series where the sun is a monster. It's the villain out to destroy everything we hold dear. That would be enough on its own for a compelling story, but writer Zack Kaplan adds in another level of intrigue and mystery with a serial killer immune to the sun's effects and a far-reaching corporate conspiracy.