"Eclipse #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Top Cow Productions / Image Comics
Written by Zack Kaplan
Illustrated by Giovanni Timpano
Colored by Flavio Dispenza
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 19th, 2017
In a world where the sun can kill people like they were vampires, Eclipse is filled with intrigue and terror. Cielo searches for answers in the Underground, trying to find out who sent the strange sunlight-immune man to try to kill her. Meanwhile, Bax is out in the wilderness, coming face-to-face with another pasty individual who can walk freely in the sun's rays without fear of burning to a crisp.
It took me a little while to figure it out, but Eclipse follows the tried-and-true horror formula of The Walking Dead. Just replace zombies with sunlight that can liquify your skin in seconds. That's the danger that is hanging over the characters' heads. It never goes away, although there are times where it can be relocated to the back of your mind. You're more focused on the story and how it's playing out. Then, the sunlight pops back in to melt someone and you're reminded of the horrible, dystopian world these people live in.
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This is used well in both arcs, even with Cielo running through the Underground. There's a great sequence where she's being chased through the sewers. Artist Giovanni Timpano delivers action movie level images that will leave you white knuckled while reading. Cielo jumps and grabs a platform, pulling it down ever so slightly so the faintest glimmer of sunlight comes through. That's enough to turn a grown man into a puddle of goo. It's amazing and terrifying how quickly that can happen.
The whole chase sequence is a highlight of this issue, especially one page that shows Cielo running along a long platform. The background doesn't change, but the panels depict her running through each section, dodging her pursuers and beams of sunlight along the way. It's a great effect that keeps the excitement level high. It's interesting to see how the sun can be used as a weapon in Eclipse. People find safety in shadow, but that can change quickly if their shelter is compromised.
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I don't think I'll ever get used to – or tired of – seeing people melt in the sun. It's like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark with every single issue. Everything about it looks painful. I can't imagine what that must feel like. Judging from the expressions of the characters, it's certainly not pleasant for anyone involved. There is absolutely no defense against it either. If you're caught out in the sun, you are dead. That's it.
You can practically feel the heat thanks to Flavio Dispenza's colors. It's this bright, unstoppable force that pierces through everything it touches. This is a nice contrast to the darkness of the Underground. Although its steeped in shadow and grim, there's a peacefulness to it that is ruined when the sunlight pops through.
Eclipse is a zombie comic where the zombie is the sun in the sky. Instead of eating brains or stomping slowly towards its prey, it literally melts you. If you hate sunburn, this is a book that will scare the crap out of you. This, coupled with not one, but two pulse-pounding thrillers is enough to make this a must read.