Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Giovanni Timpano
Release Date: 7 September 2016
Eclipse offers a creative spin on the standard science-fiction tale of a dystopian future. After a cataclysmic solar flare ten years ago, in which billions of the population perished, survivors in New York have formed a post-apocalyptic society and now live a nocturnal lifestyle, powered by the potent solar rays. Walking the streets during the night they are herded underground at curfew, as the immolating rays of the sun penetrate the scorched earth.
Narrative features are conveyed through Giovanni Timpano’s detailed illustration; the effects of the solar event are evident in the boarded-up buildings, abundance of artificial lighting, and extra layers of clothing worn by civilians. These elements are beautifully captured by colourist Betsy Gonia’s use of palettes to differentiate between the lost world of light and the dark spaces where survivors are forced to dwell; day panels gleam against the sour and murky greens and yellows of the underground world.
David Baxter is a solar engineer. One of the few people who walk the earth in the sunlight, courtesy of his cutely named ‘icesuit’, he is responsible for monitoring the cityscape and its solar power system. A loner who cares more for the company of dogs than people, subtle hints suggest that Baxter was a significant help to the city on the day of the devastating solar event, or ‘the Flare’. Baxter’s reluctant hero persona, along with his disillusioned attitude, alludes to writer Zack Kaplan’s captivating use of a tech-noir sub-plot on top of the realistic science-fiction setting.
Baxter is called upon again by his city when a civilian is found burned to death, with a religious message scrawled next to the body in the victim’s blood. The murder was precipitated by an ignored death threat; the daughter of the head of the solar power company Baxter works for has received a similar note and must be protected. It looks as though a member of Baxter’s team is responsible or that he has been targeted for his icesuit, allowing the murderer to walk in the sun. However, when Baxter is patrolling the city during the day, he catches a glimpse of the killer and all is not as it seems…
Eclipse promises to be a clever and refreshing science-fiction comic, with the perfect dose of mystery and murder. Not to be missed.
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The writer of this piece was: Rebecca Booth
Rebecca Tweets from @rebeccalbooth