It’s time to praise the sun once again as Eclipse #11 hits the shelf. After a solar event wipes out most of Earth’s population, the survivors have to avoid the now deadly sunlight and try to rebuild their lives. David Baxter is one of the survivors, a former firefighter, celebrated as a hero to the city for his actions the day of the solar event. However, after suffering a personal loss on that day, he withdrew from the other survivors until he was called into action to help track down and stop a seemingly sunlight immune killer. Even though he was successful, he began to question the motives of the new government and the powerful Solarity company. Now he and Cielo Brandt, the mayor’s daughter, are willing to risk their lives to find the truth about the sunlight-immune and their creators.
Last we saw of Baxter, he and Valerie had survived a day outside the protection of the city’s walls. Baxter has decided he’s had enough of Solarity and their secrets, so he and Valerie plan to sneak back into the city to steal an armored vehicle and rations, then escape into the wasteland. Cielo, on the other hand, is neck deep in Solarity’s secrets. After the sunlight-immune scientist tells her he can replicate the cure from his own body with the right equipment, she goes to the underground for help. She’s turned away, with the Conductor choosing the safer path, even if that means keeping things the way they are now. Cut to the end of the book, where a surprising last panel shows Cielo willingly going to see her dad, the mayor and head of Solarity.
There are some great pages at the beginning of #11 where Cielo is talking to her dad Nicholas. You can guess she’s there under some sort of pretense and isn’t really going to hand the Albino scientist over, as she tells her dad. Kaplan makes Nicholas Brandt an interesting antagonist because he believes what he’s doing is for the greater good. He’s not a hand-wringing psychopath, set up merely to have the hero knock him down again. That being said, he’s a “ends justify the means” type of guy and we get to see both the fatherly and conniving side of him in this one.
It’s no surprise that Baxter and Val’s plan doesn’t go quite as smoothly as they would have hoped. He finds himself having to make a deal in order to be free of the city, which leads to his reuniting with Cielo. His part is rather straightforward, but there was an interesting bit of conversation between him and Cielo as she seemed to harbor a bit of a grudge for leaving her alone to deal with her questions about Solarity. It’s been so long since the two had been together that I didn’t remember how their last interaction went, so I had the same reaction Baxter did and was surprised there was some resentment there. It all leads to a cliffhanger ending that I suspect will have some real consequences come next issue.
As always, I’m a big fan of the art and color, by Giovanni Timpano and Flavio Dispenza respectively, and nothing changes here. It’s another solid effort, with consistent quality that has been there since the beginning of the series. Of note is a section in the back of the book where Dispenza goes through the process of coloring Eclipse. It was interesting to see the thought process behind the decisions that go into details like shadowing and how to draw the eye to a certain area when dealing with a vast landscape scene. It’s a cool peek behind the curtain for anyone interested in the process of making a comic and how much thought and planning goes into each page and panel.
The team behind Eclipse has shown a flair for making a nice, tight story arc that is interesting on it own, while still adding to the overall concept of the comic. This issue sets up the climax of the arc and really makes you excited to see how everything shakes out. Assuming the team keeps up this level of quality, Eclipse is one of the best written and looking books out there today.
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