Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez teams up for an original story entitled Translucid with his wife, Chondra Echert. The 6-issue series explores the codependent relationship between a hero named the Navigator and the villain, the Horse. While only the first two issues from the series have been released we’ve gained a lot of insight into the characters, and what their motives may be in the over-arching story. Most fans of superhero films/comics know the complicated relationship between the Batman and the Joker; This relationship is further explored in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight with Ledger’s Joker and Bale’s Batman. The main reason for the in-depth look of this hero-villain relationship in Translucid is inspired from the Batman and the Joker story, says Sanchez. This approach on a superhero story proves to be an untold look at what separates a hero from a villain. In both the case of Translucid and Batman, this twisted hero-villain relationship is what drives the stories forward. Ledger’s infamous line from The Dark Knight sums up this strange codependency,
“I don’t want to kill you… You complete me.”
This raises troubling questions for these characters, and adds a depth that is unparalleled in the superhero world. Without Batman, would there be the Joker? Can one exist without the other? These are issues that pervade the Translucid story, and are tough things to think about. A more enduring problem arises when one begins examining the blurred line between hero and villain. Take the recent X-Men movie for example. Xavier (Professor X) and Eric (Magneto) care for one another, but are overrun with differing ideologies. The sad thing is that both of these friends believe they are doing the right thing, but in the end… which is the villain? Obviously it is Eric, but there is a sense of ambiguity throughout that film (see Days of Future Past for yourself). This is the same problem in Translucid, and as the reader comes to know the child (a younger version of either the Navigator, or the Horse) one can’t distinguish which path the child will take. The child (later revealed to be Cornelius) suffers from an abusive father, and a world that doesn’t seem to understand him. At times, the reader is given hints that this child grows up to become the Navigator but there is also a sense of ambiguity. There are other instances in which Cornelius encounters the knight chess piece that looks like a horse head, thus making a reference to the villain of the story. Which path does he take? Only time will tell…
Aside from the plot, the artwork in Translucid is extraordinary as well. Colorist Adam Metcalfe really brings these characters to life in breathtaking ways, along with the help of Daniel Bayliss. Together, these artists open the audience’s mind up to the world that Sanchez and Echert have strategically created and immerses us into the story. Overall, this comic series is worth checking out and worth your money. Check your local comic book stores for Translucid!
Photo and artwork credit to BOOM! Studios, Jeff Stokely, Daniel Bayliss.