McNutt returns with this Kickstarter-funded comic review of Eclipse #1!
Kickstarter comics always scare me. While I have read many amazing crowd funded books, most end up being mediocre at best. You can understand then why I was skeptical when first introduced to Eclipse #1 and was told that it was funded through Kickstarter. As I always do with a Kickstarter book, I took a few minutes to browse the book’s Kickstarter page to see what the focus of the series was going to be and why people were willing to put money into the project. I did not have to look far to see two ideas that would set this book apart from most other comics: having a character centered story and shining a positive light on people who are intellectually disabled.
The first thing I noticed when reading this book was the art. At first I was very underwhelmed. Some of the panels have characters looking very inhuman, and it can be quite jarring if you focus on the art as much I as do. Yet as I continued into the book I noticed that the art had a certain charming nature to it, not unlike that of The Hobbit (no, not the horrible Peter Jackson movie, but the wonderfully delightful 1977 animated version). There is a certain innocence to the art that feeds into the positive message about the intellectually disabled. I cannot give the art perfect marks, but it definitely works more for this book than it would any other.
It is very rare to see books that focus so heavily on character story as this one, but it’s a treat when it happens. Mr. Talbott artfully crafts dialogue that not only exudes his love for the medium, but also shows his understanding of the intellectually disabled, especially when the story is focusing on Bruce. I work in the mental health care field, and I have dealt with many people ranging the entirety of the autistic spectrum; Bruce is a very accurate portrayal of someone with mild autism. I also have to commend Talbott for the excellent interactions between Bruce and his son Keith.
While Bruce is by far the most interesting character in the comic, our titular character is actually Keith, who in the present day is a superhero by the name of Eclipse. One thing really bothered me about this character at first, and that was the lack of detail about whether he has powers or not. Based on some of the dialogue we get from Raze, the villain of the story, I assume that this is a Kick-Ass type situation, but I am not sure. Regardless, Keith is very strong, both in the flashbacks to his teenage years and in the present. Obviously, this young man has been through a lot as Eclipse, and Talbott does a good job showing that maturity through the character’s inner dialogue.
It is not often that I read a Kickstarter comic and end it pleased, but with Eclipse #1 I did just that. This is a great issue one, even if it is missing elements that are traditional to a first issue. Then again this is not a very traditional book, and that is part of the charm. I think the second issue is going to be the make-or-break issue for this team, but after reading this one I have faith in their abilities. I give it four out of five stars.