Review: ‘Eclipse’ #1

Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Giovanni Timpano

EclipseTop Cow, under the guidance of Matt Hawkins, has produced some imaginative books, with a good number of those in the science fiction realm. Books like Think Tank and Wildfire have taken elements of science and turned them on their ears with fantastic results. Writer Zack Kaplan and artist Giovanni Timpano look to continue that tradition with their new offering, Eclipse.

The premise of the book is a fascinating, albeit scary one – a deadly solar flare has killed billions and its after-effects render the world inhabitable in the daylight. People only go out at night and mostly live underground, safe from the sun’s deadly rays. David Baxter is one of the few who negotiate the world in the daylight with the help of an “Ice Suit” that shields the radiation. Baxter discovers a murderer operating in – wait for it – broad daylight. Solarity Inc’s head Brandt hired Baxter to teach his men to use the suits. Because there is a killer on the loose. And Brandt’s daughter, Rose, has been targeted.

There is some clunky exposition near the start. Baxter’s captions tell us what has led to this new way of living, but it’s one of the only times we see any thought captions at all. It feels out of place. Having a newscast or some other source talk about what happened here would have helped. That out of the way, Kaplan and Timpano take an already solid premise and nail it. There’s not too much focus on world-building here because it’s not necessary. Kaplan’s crisp dialog and Timpano’s art – stark, detailed but abstract enough to convey the feel of this world – really do all the world-building you need.

The story is focused as are the characters playing it out. There is very little to set up, very little outside factors having to be introduced to cloud up the mix of hard-boiled, blinding science fiction. There is something to be said for books like Saga and The Walking Dead who have built massive worlds and sprawling epics, but there is also a place for high-concept books that cut the extraneous factors and deliver a story with some punch. Eclipse #1 holds the promise of being that kind of story – clean, effective, and engaging. Kaplan and Timpano deliver a hell of a first issue that scores 4.5 out of 5 Matthew 13:6 Verses.

Interested in seeing your art in the pages of this series? Image/Top Cow is giving you that chance with the Eclipse Art Contest! One grand prize winner will receive the artwork featured and published in Issue #4, as well as receive a complete set of ECLIPSE #1-4 signed by writer Zack Kaplan and a $100 Amazon gift card. Check out the contest in the pages of this issue or visit www.zackkaps.com for more details.

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Michael Melchor has covered pop culture in all its forms for several publications and websites, including BackStage Pass magazine, 411Mania.com, and Examiner.com. He's been an avid comics reader since Barry Allen was first put on trial for the death of Professor Zoom. He's also been an avid wrestling fan since Dusty Rhodes beat Harley Race for the NWA World Championship. He now brings his fandom of comics, music, and wrestling to PanelsOnPages.com.

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