“Translucid” #3 pushes forward in its ambitious mission to change the way we look at good and evil. As The Navigator falls deeper into his own ambiguous morality, Cornelius is faced with trial after trial of abuse and loss. The mirroring of these two storylines (as one falls, the other falls with him) is quite frankly one of the most captivating aspects of this comic book, especially since the relationship between the two timelines remains ominously unclear.
ART BY: Daniel Bayliss
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: June 18, 2014
Review By: Bree Odgen
“Translucid” is a dark comic book. It proves this fact every month with each new issue. Its creators are absolutely not afraid to push the series and its characters through difficult issue after horrible, tragic, difficult issue. All of the characters are in codependent or abusive relationships. No one seems happy. It’s dark. The difference between “Translucid” and other issue-driven, neurotic stories is the fact that it never quite crosses over into “heavy-handed” territory. All of “Translucid’s” blatant drama feels less like a gloomy raincloud that follows you around, and more like existential villains that propel the story forwards.
“Translucid” isn’t perfect by any means. There are some pieces of dialogue that feel all too obvious, perhaps even a little cliché. Dialogue like The Horse’s sarcastic remark to The Navigator: “I’d almost forgotten that you still believe justice comes at the hands of lawmakers” feels as if the writers don’t entirely trust the readers to pick up on the story’s nuances without spelling it out for us. There are several instances of this particular explanatory dialogue that are saved by the comic’s unique ability to become totally self-aware at the snap of a finger. When The Horse calls out The Navigator with, “You rely on your nemesis to deliver you truth?” the story faults seem to merge back into place. Because during those moments, it feels like The Navigator suffers from poor character development, but the fact that the comic is aware of its character’s stunted growth, transforms it into something that works so well.
The story is dense; I wish there were more issues in which to explore it. It’s difficult to feel really connected to all of the characters because the development is slow. Each new interaction between The Horse and The Navigator has been very similar to the interaction before it. But honestly, these criticisms pale in comparison to the dynamic structure of this series. The concept is deep and the art is ideal on both superficial and expository levels.
My overall hope is that they’re setting up Drake as The Horse. I’ll just set that theory down and back away slowly.