Staff: Trevor Talbott, Scott Meier, Peter Raymond, Jessica Jimerson
Shine on your magnificent bastards.
Alright so Trevor Talbott, the creator, shot me a email regarding his KS backed comic. Like normal I am going in blind (to try to remain objective) so I have not read any sort of intro or summary. With that being said, lets jump into “Eclipse”!
So the artwork is really trying to be professional grade. A lot of indie comics don’t think enough about the color pallet they are using for a comic, but this one a lot of thought went into it. The style seems very “DC” (which is good for the most part) and I definitely get the modern superhero vibe from this comic. The artist (the line artist in particular) doesn’t draw heads or faces as well as bodies it seems. Sometimes we get characters with really heavy jaws, oddly placed eyes, and they seems to have two expressions- teeth grit or lips closed. The eyes are almost always WIDE OPEN and while I think it is a stylistic choice, I don’t think it lends anything to the visuals (kind of makes the characters look like dolls). Also, page 20 had some really good example of dynamic movement and the way you can layout your panels in a creative way (hats off you ya’! It deserves a special mention).
One thing that I liked was the way they handled having a (slightly) autistic dad in the story. They didn’t go all “comic made for the express purpose of beating us over the head with a message ” on us, but they did show the problems it presents. This is the hallmark of really good writing. At first I was honestly going to write this off comic as one of the dozen “generic superhero” comics we’ve all see in the indie space but- goddam was I wrong. This is a comic with heart, some fantastic characterizations, well thought-out dialogue, and by the end I really could identify with it.
I gotta say I liked the references to other comic characters (The “Menacing Bulk” and the “Crimson Bat”). This was written by a comic fan for comic fans, I can tell you that much. There are lot of little inside references. The costume design for the protagonist REALLY reminds me of Nightwing (particularly the New 52 version) and a lot of the visual tricks they use with good ol’ Dick Grayson pop up (multiple iterations of the same character on the same panel in different positions to show fluid acrobatic movement).
To be honest, I wasn’t a huge can of the antagonist. When you hold him up next to such a well written protagonist he doesn’t really stand up. Hell, I was kind of sad when we had to go back to present day and see scenes without the protagonist’s father who was much more interesting to me. Then again, if it had not progressed the story, I probably would have criticized the patience. The saving grace of the villain is that you get some good character development at the end of the comic and it makes me think there is more to him than that. He seems to be being set up for something bigger.
If I have a gripe it is that we don’t get too much actually happening in the peasant. We get an intro followed by an extended flashback (that gives context and character development), and finally a little ending. The main character is pretty much in the same situation he starts in, though we get some world building. I don’t know if that is a bad thing, and maybe it is my American need for instant gratification, but I don’t get a big payoff. Like I feel there should have been a big ol’ fight at some point that really shows us what this hero can do (present day).
Overall though, this is a stellar comic. I can recommend it sheerly on the strength of writing, but the art is worth a glance too. It goes into some unexplored territory and is very clever in the entire overall presentation. Give it a read!