In a world in which an undefined solar cataclysm changes the sun’s gentle life giving rays into deadly beams of concentrated energy, the survivors must band together to try and rebuild their lives while dealing with the day-to-day conflict of normal human civilization. Zack Kaplan and Giovani Timpano continue their incredible work on this title that is sure to satisfy sci-fi/ horror fans and anybody that generally fears our society’s impending doom.
Eclipse; issue 5 picks where the riveting conclusion of volume 1 left off (available via trade in digital and print). After Cielo narrowly escapes the mysterious (and sun resistant) killer she decides to begin an investigation into the secrets of her energy-hoarding tycoon father’s business. As our hero treads down the rabbit hole, she meets an unexpected ally: newly appointed Solarity Captain James Everly.
Cielo must push forward without the assistance of her trusted confidant, agent David Baxter, reflecting on the fact that he might have killed civilizations only hope for salvation, embarks on a secret mission into the scarred wasteland. After a surprise attack by mysterious militia they must push forward in the hope of uncovering some undiscovered truth about the world outside their underground home.
I think one of the things that gives this book so much staying power is the ability of author Zack Kaplan to boil this expandable sci-fi world into tech-noir mystery gold. In a style reminiscent of Blade Runner (or Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep for you Dickheads) we are flashed forward into a dystopian future in which humanity must balance everyday issues like homicide and economic injustice with some overarching and devastating setting.
I love that we’re getting to see the characters grow a bit, with increasingly interesting looks into Cielo’s past and the normalization of their new underground society. I also enjoyed the book’s cliffhanger ending, which teases that its characters aren’t the only aspect of this story that will be expanding in forthcoming issues.
As in the previous volume artist Giovani Timpano renders these characters with the nuance and realism that a story like this deserves. His panel layout is absolutely superb, giving this book a visually pleasing and easy-to-follow flow. Flavio Dispenze contributes a wonderful mix of nuanced yet eye-catching color and the kind of darkness that exists in a world where the only thing deadlier than a homicidal maniac is the primary giver of life in our solar system.
Great artwork and storytelling aside, I think one of the most endearing things that this series has to offer is its signature Sunkills. For the uninitiated, a Sunkill is the skin-boiling gore explosion that occurs when some poor bastard is unfortunate enough to wander (or be forced) into the sun’s deadly rays. Fans of sci-fi horror classics like John Carpenter’s The Thing or sci-fi ball kicking classics like Total Recall should find these horrifyingly delightful blood eruptions reason enough to add this title to their pull list.
Eclipse #5 hits shelves at your LCS or online retailer on 3/15, so go out and pick it up before you black-out on St. Patrick’s Day, then read it again to ease your brain-rattling hangover. On the all-new Geeked Gods ratings scale I’d give this a definite Mr. Burns, “Excellent,” and two bony thumbs way up (though he’ll probably need some help from Mr. Smithers).
The Geeked Gods Score: Excellent
Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Giovani Timpano
Colorist: Flavio Dispenze
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
Release Date: 3/15