Published on February 10th, 2017 | by Mia Faller
Advanced Review – Eclipse Vol. 1
- Writer: Zack Kaplan
- Artist: Giovanni Timpano
- Colorist: Chris Northrop
- Letterer: Troy Peteri
- Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics
- Release Date: February 15th, 2017
Thanks to Top Cow for sending us an Advanced Review Copy of Eclipse Vol. 1.
Eclipse Vol. 1 puts together the first four issues in the Eclipse series from writer Zach Kaplan and artist Giovanni Timpano. In Eclipse, people live in a world where simply being outside during daylight hours can kill you.
Synopsis of Eclipse Vol. 1
Eclipse takes place ten years after a solar flare event that caused everyone on earth to live underground and avoid direct sunlight. After the flare occurred, anyone who comes into contact with direct sunlight will be burned alive. Special crews of highly trained workers called “Icemen” go out into the direct sunlight to fix various solar equipment and other essential supplies that run above ground to provide electricity, water, and other supplies to everyone below ground.
Our protagonist David Baxter, the most experienced “Iceman” learns that someone has been above ground during daylight hours without proper protection. They’ve also committed a murder in broad daylight. The murderer has left a note scrawled in blood. Brandt, The head of solar power supply company Solarity Inc., asks Baxter to help train his men on using Icemen suits. In addition to the training, he wants Baxter to help find the murderer. Brandt’s daughter Cielo (formerly known as Rose) may be in danger if the murderer is not found.
The Creative Team
In Eclipse Vol. 1, we alternate between current day, the day of the flare, and the first days after the flare. In each panel, we see how the desolate landscape of New York City. The streets are deserted and the hazy, hot sunlight acts as a clear reminder of the dangers of being outside. Kaplan’s characters are lively, motivated, and relatable. Kaplan is careful to consider not only the physical but the mental effects of being forced to live in a world that is unnatural. Yet, Kaplan leaves the story ending with enough mystery to keep us anxious for issue #5.
Timpano’s characters are clearly hardened by this world. They are doing their best to achieve a normal life, but no one looks happy or healthy. His expressions and eerily quiet landscapes drive home the unnatural world, the people of Eclipse experience. Small details like advertisements for vitamin D supplements, artificially lit beaches and “real” homes show how the underground has turned into a sort of Bio-Dome. Timpano’s detailing on the dead figures is fantastic. They truly appear have melted, faces frozen in horror. The Icemen suits look a lot like an astronaut’s suit, driving home that idea that the world in daylight is as foreign and dangerous to our bodies as outer space.
Northrop makes great use of the light neutral tones to show how the outside world is hot, warm and sunny. Interestingly, he is able to use the same sunlight affect on people underground when in the Solarity offices where daylight is simulated. The underground and nighttime panels are saturated in cool tones. Not only do these provide a good contrast to the sunlight, they add to the overall dreary mood of the underground lifestyle.
Peteri’s letters are crisp and well placed. The words flow easily without interrupting or distracting from the highly detailed panels.
Overall, Eclipse Vol. 1 is a great post-apocalyptic tale of a world that is both familiar and foreign at the same time. Anyone who’s ever felt detached from the world around them or even had to work an odd shift (which Kaplan says motivated him to create the story) will be able to relate to Baxter and the world of Eclipse.
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