It goes without saying that humanity has an ancient fear of the dark. All the best horror movies, ghost stories, and cautionary tales warn people away from going out at night or into lightless catacombs. However, a new comic series is about to turn that trope on its head, placing its characters in a world where night brings safety from the sun’s deadly light.
Image Comics and Top Cow Productions issued a press release today for a new sci-fi thriller comic titled Eclipse, written by Zack Kaplan with Giovanni P. Timpano as the book’s artist.
Set in the near future, Eclipse promises us an Earth bombarded by lethal solar radiation following a massive electromagnetic solar flare that destroys much of human society. Because stepping into the daylight almost instantly scorches the flesh off a person’s bones (much like the alien planet in Vin Diesel’s Pitch Black), humanity’s survivors create nocturnal communities in order to adapt to this abrupt change in the natural order.
The protagonist of the series, a man named David “Bax” Baxter who makes his living as a solar engineer, somehow finds himself protecting a solar industrial magnate’s daughter, after she is targeted by an unknown killer. A killer who can seemingly walk in the sunlight unscathed, and is notorious for dragging his victims outside in the middle of the day, effectively roasting them alive.
One of the most intriguing elements of Eclipse, to me anyway, is the fact that it bears elements of a “reverse vampire” story, with the monster using the sun’s light to kill innocent victims.
According to Top Cow editor Bryan Hill, a primary focus of the story will be “the darkness inside the human heart”, meaning that it will surely explore as much about the psychology of coping with this new dystopia as it will be about avoiding the daylight.
Kaplan echoed this sentiment, stating that he and Timpano focused on designing “a rich world that felt authentic and functional” while also ensuring that “every choice [they] made supported the character’s emotional story”.
The sneak peek provided at Eclipse’s issue #1 cover depicts a crumbling cityscape, a man clad in a spacesuit-like rig, and a gooey, charred hand. Clearly, the emotional story will be supported by Timpano’s design style, which seems like it will focus on dramatic flourishes. The use of light in the cover image to wash out details is well done, and makes me interested to see how the interior art compares.
Eclipse #1 will obscure other titles on the shelf on September 7th, 2016, so we have a couple months to enjoy the comforting light of the sun while it still lasts.