(BOOM! Studios, 2014)
Written by Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Art by Daniel Bayliss
Covers by Jeff Stokely and Ming Doyle
Which reality is the one that we believe? Is it the one where super villains plot great and intuitive schemes against those nemeses that have plagued them for their entire lives? Or is it the one where a boy draws on lined paper in his bedroom, imagining the things he wishes he could do and creating those very villains from everyday things?
These are both realities that confront us in Translucid, the first in a six-issue short from Boom! Studios, dropping this week.
Written by Claudio Sanchez (The Armory Wars, Kill Audio) and Chondra Echert (Kill Audio, Key of Z) present a tale that makes the reader wonder, which book am I reading? That will be the question of the series, the one that makes people want issue two, three…etc.
We are looking at the creation of two new realities, and the question is which is the real story? One has the adventure that made comics books such a popular medium. The Navigator is a high-tech, dark, Batman-esque character vs. The Horse, who is literally a man in a suit with a horse head mask on. (I could almost see the Batman ’66 title flash across the page “Who’s horsing around?”) One of the cool things about this back-and-forth between the two characters is that they know the dynamic that exists between them. It is unusual for that level of self-knowledge between the characters, and makes one wonder if this might not all be in the mind of a boy.
Ahh, the boy. With all of the fighting and super villain in fighting, I nearly forgot the boy. We saw him at the beginning, sketching at a desk, those few pictures that imply some inside knowledge of the characters. He is the representation of the second reality, the mundane, everyday one where a boy must survive. We don’t see a lot of the boy. Is he the creator? Is he some sort of god? He is very important to the story, but very little is shown about what his role will be.
Daniel Bayliss has brought a unique and specific art style to this book. His use of perspective is fantastic. His shots of the city, the skylines and building details, capture the size and repetitive nature of the architecture while keeping it fun to look at. The last couple of pages are spread pages that lose something when viewed one at a time, but will be spectacular in the double page view. They are a combination of close-ups and long shots that, when combined as Bayliss has done it; provide an extremely cinematic and dramatic ending to the first issue.
Which is the true story? That is the question that we end up with at the end of this book. Who holds the key to reality? It is a conundrum that will progress throughout the story, and Sanchez and Echert have hooked me into this. Translucid #1 is a trippy ride and the way they have written it have made it seem that the only reality that is important is the one on the page “right now”, until issue 2 comes out.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.