Horse continues his rough and ready psychoanalysis of the Navigator in Translucid #5, taking the Navigator from his mother’s attempt to poison them both and on into a foster care facility where he again tries to help someone weaker than him. It must be said that the young Cornelius had a truly rough childhood.
It’s a pity that Sanchez and Echert chose to go with the stereotypical evil Catholic school complete with severe nuns and an abusive priest; yes, some of these places are abusive, but it’s also become rather a cliche, along the lines of “Nunneries are for sacking” (see Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland). The rest of Translucid remains intriguing with the Horse’s own motivation coming increasingly into question: He’s the one narrating the story, no matter whose memories are being unspooled. Hopefully, the next and final issue will show how and why Horse considers the hero and villain so inextricably tied together. Also, those covers of Stokely’s are enough to lure anyone in.
Baliss’ art and Daniel Metcalfe’s coloration remain the chief joy of Translucid with striking contrasts and color choices that underscore the insanity going on and are a beauty in their own right. Watch the play of light on Horse’s costume as he looks at the destruction he has caused or pokes through Cornelius’ darker memories, for example.
The creators’ have, so far, chosen to leave the adult Navigator’s mask on–even when the Horse has him fully at his mercy and is transporting him to parts unknown. This underscores the sense that the relationship between the two is that of archetypes, not of individuals, even as Cornelius’s story unfolds.
By Translucid #5 (of 6), new readers are going to have a harder time entering the story, although the way that memories are being pulled out one section at a time will make matters easier. It is a miniseries worth paying attention to for the art alone.
Author: Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colors: Adam Metcalfe
Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely, Felipe Smith
Letters: Ed Dukeshire