Translucid #6 draws the series to a close with an unexpected finale. Horse, having killed his accomplices, takes the Navigator into his bunker for one last dose of therapy, taking him through the end of his childhood and the confrontation with the memory of his mother. There is even catharsis, of a sort.
Sadly, the one thing that never is shown is just how Horse became the Navigator’s best friend. The story is built on the long-standing tradition that, ultimately, the hero and nemesis need each other, but we never do get to see how the two ended up as foils to one another.
We do see, though, the makings of a hero in a number of ways, some quite unexpected. The young Navigator turned his mother’s madness into an understanding of victims and a desire to help them, just as we (and the Horse) have been privy to his response to the other horrific events in his life. The Horse continues his odd care for the Navigator, still claiming that the latter has not lived up to his standards as a hero and needs to be corrected. And the end is a thing of beauty.
Bayliss and Metcalfe continue to create the stunning art that makes Translucid so outstanding. The strong shapes and eye-catching colors tell the story and make each page worth looking at for a long time. Metcalfe tones the colors down for the first portion, the nighttime portion in the real world, reserving the bright fluorescents for the dream world. There is one particularly marvelous page where the Horse comes crashing through a stained glass window. I’d love to have that one framed on its own.
Bayliss also show the adult Navigator’s face without its mask, leaving him more vulnerable than he has yet been. The Horse, too, is expressive, despite his mask, sitting sometimes with shoulders slumped, or standing triumphant.
Translucid has been quite a show. If you have not picked up any of the prior issues, take a look at this one. Chances are, you’ll want the trade paperback when it comes out.
Writers: Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colors: Adam Metcalfe
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Covers: Jeff Stokely, Felipe Smith, Daniel Bayliss
The Navigator and the Horse Character Designs: Dan Duncan