Review: Translucid #4

At this point, I feel like Translucid is actively getting on my case for not going back and rereading all the previous issues before I read a new one every month. This story is building and building, which don’t get me wrong, I’m all for. But in a monthly book, they’re splitting their page time in such a way that I’m following one plotline really well (Cornelius) and have almost completely lost the other one (Navigator v. Horse: Dawn of Injustice). In this issue, Cornelius fights his giant monster brother in the graveyard at the very beginning, so it starts with a bang. As the issue progresses, home life gets rougher for Cornelius with his older brother/protector gone, and the Navigator has a monologue that I think is meant to further muddy the waters as to whether the Navigator is a) Cornelius, b) a psychic projection of Cornelius into his own future, or c) an entirely separate person. That’s getting a little frustrating, but I have high hopes that the final two issues will make it all add up.

The art in this issue is beyond stellar. Daniel Bayliss started out an extremely capable artist in his own right, and over the course of the last four issues, he’s grown exponentially. His characters are looking more and more real, more comfortable in their own skins—except when the world gets psychedelic and he gets to draw them with limbs growing out of their stomachs, or with the world exploding around them. And those sequences are getting more and more outlandish, more vibrant each time. It’s a lot of fun.

Translucid04_COVER-A copy 2The writing of the series is starting to get more philosophical in terms of the dialogue, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, it’s engaging a lot of higher-minded ideas about eternal struggles, the concept of an indifferent savior, etc. The downside is that a lot of it isn’t directed at anyone. This isn’t to say that there’s not a time and place for a good soliloquy in a comic book, because there generally is. It’s the fact that the soliloquies are things like, “[b]eing a savior doesn’t feel like enough anymore.” Like... how is that supposed to unpack? Isn’t being a savior, by definition, enough?

I’m still not sure who Cornelius is as a character. We spend a lot of time with the kid, we learn a little bit about his inventions, and we see him fight monsters that may or may not be real. In this issue, he does say, out loud, that they aren’t real. That’s nice to hear. There was talk of psychedelic drugs in the Navigator in the first issue, and now it feels like that’s coming back around, maybe putting some more pieces of the puzzle together. Then, at the end of the issue, we get the darkest ending we’ve had so far, which I loved.

This series goes back and forth for me, but I never lose interest. I’m excited to see how it all wraps up, and I’m gonna keep coming back. I’m just a little confused.

Score: 3/5

Writers:  Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert Artist: Daniel Bayliss Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/16/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital