Rating: 4/5 – A Sun So Bright it Kills!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
In this new series, Eclipse, the sun has become too hot for humans to survive out in the open during the daylight hours anymore. After a solar flare that had enough energy to equal two trillion megatons of TNT, billions of people have died and those that remain have to live underground when the sun comes up. Writer Zack Kaplan and artist Giovanni Timpano have created a believable world in this first issue set not only in the science fiction genre, but also within the mystery genre. That’s because in addition to the struggles of everyday life, a killer is on the loose using the deadly power of the sun to his advantage.
Kaplan’s story gives us just enough to know what’s going on in the world during this issue’s opening pages before diving into the murder mystery. We see a city still functioning at night with people crowding the streets before a curfew sounds and everyone has to go underground. This is all presented to us within the first couple of pages, yet it absolutely works and made me wish that Kaplan would give us more on just how the world works now that the surface is only livable for half the day. Timpano’s art has a gritty feel to it which is perfect for the story. He uses plenty of wide and pull-away shots to give us a feel for the city and the action. Colorist Betsy Gonia has the difficult task of making the sun seem bright enough to kill, but not overly white or yellow, and she definitely succeeds.
From the brilliant opening we meet the main character David Baxter, an “Iceman”. Icemen are individuals who help the city during the daytime using specialized suits that block the harmful rays of the sun. Baxter is hired by a company called Solarity, Inc. to find the killer before he strikes again since he has extensive experience inside one of the Iceman suits. Although we don’t get to know too much about Baxter, we learn enough through his interactions with others and his time on the surface.
Overall, Eclipse works on multiple levels, showcasing humanity’s will to survive after what could have been a species ending disaster as well as presenting the murder mystery, all within a science fiction framework. Eclipse is definitely being added to my pull list and I’m excited to see where Kaplan and Timpano take us next.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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