Monday, January 10, 2011

Back Issue Alphabet: E is for Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1 (1992)

Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1 (Kieth Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, Bart Sears)

If the cover scan looks a little bit askew, that’s because the diamond that Eclipso is holding over his eye is actually a little plastic thingy that’s attached to the comic book. It’s like one of those treasure troll tummy gems, and despite my initial optimism, it doesn’t actually grant wishes. 

My only knowledge of Eclispso comes from that Justice League Unlimited two-parter with those snake people, but the basic premise was the same. An evil gem is found, it possesses people, and some super powerful guy wants to destroy the world. Of course, JL:U did it in two 22 minute episodes, but Eclipso: The Darkness Within was the summer event for DC comics in 1992. It’s a 55 page special issue, and the story has one of those terrible “I’ve had this power all along, but I’ve just been toying with you” explanations for the appearance of the Big Bad villain. From what I can tell only from reading this issue, Eclipso was once the evil half of solar scientist Bruce Gordon, and came to life when Gordon was scratched by a magic diamond. Turns out that that Eclipso was just a projection, and the diamond was actually a material focus that allowed the original Eclipso to manifest himself on Earth when a person holding the diamond exhibits extreme anger. Also Eclipso’s weakness is sunlight and he lives in a castle in a crater on the dark side of the moon. 

Oh, comics.

There are a few fights between Eclipso possessed beings, and Bruce Gordon manages to use two evil diamonds to track down other diamond shards, leading him to an arcade in Metropolis Mall. Do video games make our youth violent? Maybe not, but they make them angry enough to puke up a nekkid Eclipso-troll.

I really liked the art in this book. Bart Sears does tights-and-fights, but there’s also a neat gimmick with Eclipso appearing behind or beside the panels of the book whenever he possesses or manifests a new body.

And also at the mall:

Heh heh.

Overall the book is... serviceable. There’s nothing terrible about it, but it feels like it’s going through all the motions of an event book. That being said, it’s a very nice looking and well paced event book, and If I was a DC comics reader in 1993, I’d probably pick up the next part in the Eclipso saga (“In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #1!” as boldly advertised at the end of the book) out of curiosity and would follow it until there was drop off in quality.

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