In the deadly world of Eclipse, the sunlight can instantly burn you to smoking pile of ash. Bax, an engineer trained to work in the harsh conditions with the help of a refrigerated “Iceman” suit, has been recruited by the town’s leadership to try and track down a killer who’s been leaving people out in the sun to fry. The first issue was a blast, while the second seemed to be spinning its wheels with not a lot happening. Number three is out now. So, will a story with such a promising world and premise get back on track? Is it Good?
Eclipse #3 (Image Comics)
In the last issue we got to see Bax’s dirty apartment some more and he got pushed back in the line of duty to help track down the killer, who is seemingly impervious to the deadly daytime atmosphere. Although the plan seems to be going pretty poorly for Bax and crew, they do manage to wound the killer and track him to an old church full of burned bodies sitting in the pews.
That’s where this issue picks up, as Bax and the police find a creepy candlelit room full of murder targets the killer has pasted to the wall. Bax recognizes the father of one of the victims, so with the help of Cielo (the girl he saved in issue #1, not the singer with the tiny arms) to help him track the man down, he begins his search for the man. Of course there’s also the killer to worry about and the results from a vial of the killer’s blood that Bax manages to sneak to an old flame in the lab.
In short there’s a lot going on here. It had an excellent pace, moving from scene to scene. In the last issue the killer seemed to lose some of his terrifying presence as he fled from Bax. He regains his mojo here, with an explosive entrance that shows just how powerful and deadly the daytime world can be. The partnership between Bax and Cielo works too. Not sure if there is a fatherly attachment growing, but he’s so silent and broody, a lighter voice makes his scenes better. There are a few touches of important backstory revealed too, with the first two pages being especially impactful.
I thought writer Zak Kaplan did a good job with the entire issue, but with so many different settings and scenes happening throughout the book, it took a lot of talent to make it move as seamlessly as it did. There were some interesting new plot points he introduced and they felt really organic to the story. In particular, one added to the importance of catching the killer without seeming forced. That’s harder than it sounds, when your plot is mystery that’s slowly being revealed to the reader. Far too many writers would throw out red herrings or brute force a plot device to keep the tension going.
Artist Giovanni Timpano, just like the first two issues, has a style that fits well with the world created in Eclipse. He does a great job with smaller details like the characters’ faces, as well as the larger panels showing the wrecked and burned out city after the flare event. His panels showing action are spot on too. I especially liked the contrast of the people hiding in the dark corner of the frame, juxtaposed with the killer’s silhouette, holding an axe in the harsh daylight. I’ve mentioned this in my other Eclipse reviews, but colorist Chris Northrop is excellent at showing the “heat” of the killer sunlight, with washed out backgrounds and harsh yellows and tans.
Is It Good?
In fact, it is. I said I was a little let down by the last issue after such a great debut issue, but I have not problem saying I liked this one just as much as the first. It moved quickly, but didn’t feel short. It also felt like the story progressed in this one and momentum is once again building for Bax to have major confrontations with some of the other characters in the book, and not just the killer. I’m really looking forward to where this story is going, and how it’s getting there.