Written by Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Art by Daniel Bayliss
Published by Boom! Studios
I’m gonna miss this comic once it’s gone. It has been one of the best superhero comics I’ve read in a while, simple because it is bringing something new to the genre. Issue #5 of Translucid continues dissecting the abusive, codependent relationship between Horse and the Navigator, laying bare the dysfunction that exists between superheroes and supervillains. I’m sad it has come to an end.
Cornelius wakes up in the hospital and is informed that he is being placed in foster care after the events of last issue. The orphanage he is placed in, is a grim institution, but Cornelius is more determined than ever to avenge the wrongs he sees. He uses his holographic gifts to frighten an abusive priest, earning him the respect of a younger boy who had been beaten by the man. In the present, the Navigator tries to fight Horse at the scene of the Empire State bombing, but the hallucinogens Horse drugged him with bring him down. The episode ends with Horse delivering Navigator to a final showdown, which houses something called Martingale.
My theory about the Navigator’s identity is likely blown at this point. Horse alludes to having seen the Navigator in the abandoned hospital, talking to his mother, and has used that to figure out what makes his nemesis tick: regret. As Horse says, “We’re just men motivated by feeling shortchanged.” It’s a really grim interpretation of heroic motivation, but adequately explains so much about Cornelius and his life. The affection he receives from the younger boy for stopping the priest is the only positive thing Cornelius has, and thus, his chief motivation. Adulation and respect becomes the motivation, that is, until the hero finds a new villain who’ll continue to give him purpose.
I also love the fact that Horse has been pumping the Navigator full of LSD, because that seems like a knowing wink at this very trippy art style. The question now is, what comes next in this comic? Our only clue is the Martingale, which in real-life is a form of probability model, will factor in. Since, martingales are random processes in which past events have no bearing on future outcomes, my speculation is that Horse has found a way to see if Navigator’s history will determine his actions in the future.