Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at the first collection of Echo (Moon Lake) by writer/artist Terry Moore!
Echo is a tremendous follow-up to Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore – it’s wonderful to see a guy who had such a long, sustained with one very specific type of comic go off and do a widely different comic book (although, of course, a lot of the same storytelling STYLE) and have it be as good as Echo has been. Honestly, while it doesn’t have the raw emotional pull of the two (three?) leads of Strangers in Paradise, in pretty much every other aspect, Echo is the superior comic book – the end result of a guy who has been doing independent comics professionally for almost twenty years now and as a result, knows a thing or two about how to tell a story (not to mention the fact that his artwork has developed to the point where it might not be particularly different than it was at the END of Strangers in Paradise, but it is still definitely at the high point of his career, artwork-wise – such beautiful line work).
Echo begins with a pretty clunky first issue/chapter, really – a lot of exposition and set-up, but once the basic idea of the comic gets established, things begin to run much smoother.
That basic idea is that a female scientist is wearing an experimental suit of armor when the suit explodes – and it rains down on the desert below like metal droplets of rain. A bunch of the droplets land on a photographer and whammo – that’s your plot – the pieces of the suit give the photographer, Julie, superpowers and now the government want to get a hold of her as she slowly deals with what has happened to her.
Meanwhile, Dillon, a park ranger who was the boyfriend of Annie (the dead scientist) discovers her death and he gets involved…
Meanwhile, there is a nasty fellow who ALSO has part of the suit and he’s using the powers it gives him to do some gross things. There is also a intriguing female investigator who is hired to hunt down Julie. Here, that investigator (Ivy) discovers a victim of the other guy who had part of the suit.
How effectively gross was that?
Ivy is a cool character – watch her totally nail Julie’s character…
One of the sneaky aspects of the comic is how Moore slowly but surely introduces superheroes and supervillains. In a lot of ways, Echo is ABOUT that – the establishment of superheroes and supervillains in the “real world.”
And, of course, since this is a Terry Moore comic book, there is a great deal of character work. The highlights of the comic is the character work, really, which you have already seen.
Dillon and Julie find themselves and eventually they “team up,” as they are now both fugitives, but even if they were not, he is desperate to get to the bottom of his girlfriend’s death, and Julie wants answers to what happened to her. Also, for one last little twist – Annie’s mind/soul/whatever is sort of connected to the suit, so Julie can experience Annie’s memories and feelings. Spooky, eh?
This comic is a blast, and the collected edition reads better than the individuals, which tend to have more than a few abrupt endings – endings that don’t seem as noticeable when part of a larger book.
Great art, great characters, interesting plot – Echo is a blast!
If you liked Strangers in Paradise, this is more of the same great character work from Moore.
If you disliked Strangers in Paradise, this is a lot more focused and cohesive of a story than Strangers in Paradise. There really isn’t any meandering.
Go buy this book!!! There are three collections out so far!