Every superhero has a supervillain; heck, some would even say that every superhero needs a supervillain. Superman has Lex Luthor, the Fantastic Four have Doctor Doom, and Batman has the Joker. These characters act as foils for one another; their strengths, weakness, and personality are complimentary. The question has been asked before: are supervillains essential to their superheros? Do they need each other to provide them with purpose, to fulfill their existence? This twisted relationship is at the heart of BOOM!’s newest six-part miniseries, “Translucid.”
It starts off slow. During my first read through I reached page eight before I stopped and almost put the book down. Everything about that opening is confusing and hard to understand. Sometimes it’s great to be puzzled at the outset, curious about what’s going to happen next. But I was more than just puzzled, I was utterly lost. I blame the writing and the pacing of the story for that early hiccup. However, something about the characters and that strange horse in a limo, convinced me to keep on reading. I’m glad I did.
Have you ever read “The Killing Joke”? No spoilers here; I’ll just say that when I read that comic it really made me reconsider the relationship between hero and villain. And while that relationship has been explored in other books, what Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez are doing here with the characters of The Navigator and The Horse still feels new. We have a villain who isn’t devoted to evil, but devoted to making his hero better. And how do you make a better hero? By pitting him against a better villain. I’m sure in the coming issues their backstory and motivations will be fleshed out more clearly, but that premise alone is enough to get me interested in the next issue.
The art is phenomenal, really all you could ask for in a comic book. Daniel Bayliss’s pencils make me think of some cross between the styles of David Aja and Nick Dragotta, and I love those guys. I mentioned it before, but the character design is off the charts. The Navigator and The Horse look so cool, that’s half the reason I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Certain panels, say, those of the explosive variety, were very well executed. And the colors! Visually this book is stunning.
When I picked up “Translucid” and started reading I went from slightly interested, to uninterested, to satisfied. I’ll definitely be looking for issue two when it hits the stands, and I sense a very deep, mind bending journey awaits. Eight pages are too many to lose in a series with only six-parts. But if the rest to come is anything like the final pages of this story, “Translucid” is going to be a lot of fun.
Curtis’ Explosive Evil Horse Score: 3.5 / 5
Written by: Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez.
Interior art by: Daniel Bayliss.
Published by: BOOM!
Available on: 4/16/14