Review: Eclipse #1

Eclipse treads on some familiar ground: a post-apocalyptic earth and the survivors who have adapted to the new conditions. The premise is an interesting one even if it’s been seen a number of times before in the “dying earth” genre. However, the execution in this first issue isn’t particularly strong, partly because of a number of scenes that simply don’t make sense; the series ignores some basic physical laws at its own peril.

In the near-future, earth’s surface is uninhabitable during the day time. A solar flare killed billions of people years ago, and the surface is so hot during the day that it kills anybody not wearing protective gear. David Baxter works above ground for a company called Solarity and discovers a man who was deliberately left to die in the heat. He’s called in to help the company and protect the next victim.

Eclipse01_coverThe problem with this issue is that parts of the worldbuilding don’t really make a lot of sense. All of humanity has to live underground now…so why would we keep horses, which would require a lot of fodder to feed, fodder which would be difficult and space-intensive to grow? And if it’s so hot that a few seconds of exposure to sunlight is enough to cause horrific burns, how can a truck with rubber tires withstand the heat? At one point, people roam around in the shadows of a building above ground; if that building was being hit by the sun’s rays (which it is), wouldn’t it be like a convection oven in there? Shouldn’t the oceans have evaporated?

It’s also not made very clear what the company Solarity even does. I’m generally a fan of minimal expository dialogue and narration because too much of it is clunky and kills immersion. But apart from creating the iceman suits and sending men above ground, what do they do? Why are they so important? We needed something, even if it was just a throwaway line at the beginning; otherwise, the fact that the killings are targeting the company lacks meaning.

And this is probably just me, but that name is a seriously weird choice. If most of humanity is wiped out by a solar flare and we’re forced to live underground, naming your company after something responsible for the killing would be a seriously weird choice.

We don’t really get much insight into David’s character either, apart from the fact that he likes watching old Superbowls and has a bunch of dogs. The woman he’s trying to protect isn’t introduced until the very end, so the premise is all this issue has to go on, and unfortunately, it sinks under the weight of inconsistencies.

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Eclipse #1 Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Giovanni Timpano Publisher: Image/Top Cow Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital