Published on August 21st, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Translucid #5 – Comic Review
Claudio Sanchez has been busy of late, preparing for his North American tour, putting together the limited edition of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 vinyl, launching his own Record Label and of course finishing up his tragic superhero story, Translucid which reaches its penultimate issue this week.
The Navigator has finally fallen to The Horse who mournfully transports his nemesis out of the city. In the flash back a similar woe filled journey takes place as Cornelius is taken away from his mother and relocated to a foster home run by nuns. There he meets a young boy who is been bullied and decides that he can help: stand up to tyranny and fight for those unable to defend themselves. After an emotional display by the young boy he stood up for, Cornelius feels a sense of worth and hope. Unfortunately this doesn’t last long and he overhears some devastating news.
Poor Cornelius is put through the wringer and his story becomes more tragic each issue. Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert know how to pull on the readers heart strings by giving the boy a glimmer of hope and then destroying it in the worst possible way. The Horse’s voiceover is a perfect framing device to tell the story as it slowly unveils what is happening, linking the present to the past but doesn’t give too much away. Sanchez/Echert holds the full story back and reveals it a little at a time, drip feeding the reader so that the characters grow as you read: from simple masked men into complex people weighed down by their history
There is a tonal contrast between the present and the past that is best highlighted by the extra characters that inhabit the story. There are The Horse’s theatrical henchmen dressed in their elaborate clothing who couldn’t be further in style from the nuns who are entrusted with the young Cornelius. This successfully illustrates the difference between Cornelius’ childhood traumas and his more outlandish adult life as a ‘superhero’. (I have assumed here that The Navigator is an adult Cornelius, it is possible that there is still a twist yet to come).
The art work is like the script in that it shifts effortlessly between the future and the past switching the tone to match the story. Once again the colouring work is excellent and Adam Metcalfe isn’t afraid to splash the pages with a mix of earthy, natural tones and wild, vivid blocks of colour.
As this series nears its end, Sanchez and co have set up a mysteriously enjoyable tale of tragic childhoods and vigilante confrontations. Translucid has taken the concept of an origin story and turned it around to tell not only of the hero’s beginnings but also of his potential demise. I’m convinced there’s still a massive twist to come and for that reason alone I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the sixth and final issue.
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colourist: Adam Metcalfe