Review: “Translucid” #1

translucid

Well, shit. This comic is bananas. “Translucid” #1 is the coolest take on villainy that I’ve seen in years. A true psychological look at good and evil. Writers Sanchez and Echert present us with an almost Dom/Sub-type love between superhero and villain, causing all kinds of chaos in its wake. Leading us to wonder, who’s the real villain here?

WRITTEN BY: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
ART BY: Daniel Bayliss
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: April 16, 2014

Starting off rather innocuously, we are introduced to our villain: The Horse. He’s a Carmine Falcone-like criminal mastermind (with a Knight chess piece style headdress) fresh out of prison with a renewed sense of psychopathy and an odd determination to prove the dependency of his superhero counterpart, The Navigator. He orchestrates his own abduction in order to show that The Navigator would sooner blow up the Empire State Building than see him perish in its place.

When The Navigator plays directly into the trick, instead of being pleased, The Horse is angered at the dependency The Navigator shows, and punishes him by forcing him to watch his failure play out in a grand explosive gesture.

Since the beginning of the comic book hero/villain relationship, it’s always been clear that the two feed off of each other. This comes as no surprise. They never truly want to end each other’s lives, because without one, the other ceases to exist. Good is only relative to the evil it counteracts. “Translucid” definitely explores that notion but smacks it around a bit first. In a standard hero/villain relationship, we find the villain on the sad end of the dependency continuum, whereas “Translucid” turns our hero into a sad, pathetic, almost treacherous, fool-in-love for the villain. To the point where The Navigator’s dependency on The Horse causes more damage than The Horse could possibly do on his own. It’s fascinating. It’s daring. I love it.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this comic book as much as I did. I had the impression that it was going to be the hero/villain equivalency of a bromance film. And for a second during the comic when a reporter refers to The Navigator and The Horse as a “dynamic duo” I thought my initial feelings would be validated. But Sanchez and Echert swing wildly off course as The Horse dominates in emotional stability, completely putting The Navigator (along with his creepy amount of respect for his “nemesis”) in his place. I’m crazy excited to see where the next five issues of this strikingly original comic book will take us.

Review by – Bree Ogden

 

Official Score