Reviewing Translucid #4 (of 6)

GameStop, Inc.

Translucid Cover ATranslucid continues its quest to see what makes heroes and villains tick. With The Horse’s none-to-gentle aid, The Navigator/Cornelius is reliving his childhood. It was a nightmare childhood, complete with an abusive father and a clinically depressed mother and Cornelius escaped into his creations. With his brother dead, the boy has lost the only strong guidance he ever had.

The Horse’s commentary, here reduced to a minimum, continues to be the most intriguing part of the tale. The Horse seems to have entirely defined himself in relation to the hero, musing at one point on the role other villains have had. He also has the habit of talking about himself in the third person as “the villain,” which I hope will be explained at some point. Interestingly, Cornelius’s memories show that the dependence runs both ways; he muses at one point that he should have retired when The Horse stopped being a problem. There is another possible candidate for the person who became The Horse introduced here.

Sanchez and Echert have created an interesting villain whose mission to reform “his” hero commands attention. As yet, however, it is not clear how the two met or became so intertwined. Cornelius’ childhood elicits sympathy but shows few signs of coalescing into a desire to be a hero. There have been occasional hints, one here, but no strong push. There are only two more books in the miniseries left to accomplish the dual transformation of hero and villain.

The art remains a high point. Bayliss draws the distortions of dream and daily life equally well and Metcalfe continues to use the strong color palette he started with in issue one, drawing on fluorescents and sharp contrasts to show The Navigator’s life falling apart.

Worth reading for the strong visuals and for the detached narrative style Sanchez and Echert have gifted their villain with.

Author: Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely

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