‘Eclipse #3:’ Comic Book Review

The world has changed. The sun devastates the world instead of nourishes it. In a flash of sunlight, life can be extinguished, and the remnants are not a pretty sight.

Image Comics entertains its readers with the third issue of Eclipse. Creator and writer Zack Kaplan flashbacks to the night after “the flare,” the event transforming the sun’s effect on this dystopian civilization, and shows a heartbreaking discovery for one of the main characters, Bax. Instant death isn’t an expectation from exposure to sunlight; however, the opening pages highlight the impact it has on people and those still living with that knowledge.

This frightening existence should be enough of a horror story, yet, Kaplan creates a serial killer who exploits the sun’s power to incinerate his victims. In a city where people barricade themselves indoors, it’s a complete nightmare when a person starts breaking out windows or knocking down walls. Instead of one victim, many can be targeted at the same time.

Humanity lives during the night, but now, they must survive during the day. Artist Giovanni Timpano and colorist Chris Northrop illustrate this compelling story within a charred city, ash covering its edges, and dilapidated interiors better suited as condemned than habitable. One of the special features of this issue is the additional artwork and commentary at the backend, which is where Northrop describes his thought process. He points out that, “If it looked like a Twilight Zone episode in black and white and the tones read well, I was happy.”

If the reader enjoys this classic science fiction show, they will surely enjoy Eclipse. Kaplan creates dialogue urging the reader forward along with the characters searching for answers, while Timpano’s pages are crafted to make you feel as trapped as those living underneath the sun’s tyranny. He clusters many things in small spaces, with some images spilling over into others, while also using small or narrow panels to further emphasize this cramped feeling. This powerful technique adds a level of intensity to the story, making life even more fleeting, as dire circumstances surround everyone.

The success of this story can be assessed on many levels. One: the intrigue behind the characters’ motivations and the attempts to survive in this chaotic world drives the reader to the first two issues in this series, hoping to find all parts of the story leading up to this point. Two: in a world where anyone dies after being touched by the sun, an unknown murderer is created, further terrorizing those fortunate enough to survive. And not just that, this killer is immune to the sun’s deadly rays.

Eclipse #3 is now available in print and digital form.

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