It’s been awhile since Terry Moore launched a new creator-owned title, so I guess that explains why the first issue of Echo has a special foil cover! Seriously, though, the foil cover is a nice touch, as the end result is a very attractive cover that stands out from the pack (which, I suppose, was the intent of foil covers in the first place), which is nice, as this appears to be an interesting new title by Moore, as Moore tries out fantasy a bit (albeit still intermixed with realism).
The book is about a woman who is testing out this new super suit for the government, which is powered basically by nuclear power – she’s essentially wearing a nuclear bomb. The head bad guy, in a nicely done piece of characterization by Moore, is one of of those guys who probably honestly do not think of themselves as evil – he thinks of himself strictly as a scientist, and if he has to kill some innocent people to test his ideas out? So be it.
One of those innocent people who perish is the lady in the super suit, but when her suit explodes, parts of it rain down on an unsuspecting female photographer in the desert.
Here is that scene, which is where Moore gets the cover idea from – and boy, does he do a nice job depicting the showering of the pieces of the suit…
Check out that sweet linework by Moore. He’s always been an impressive line artist on Strangers in Paradise, and he brings that skill to Echo, as well. It’s a style you don’t see too often (mostly because it only really exists in black and white comics, as in color, it bleeds a bit).
The concept of the comic is that a piece of the super suit is going to bond to the photographer (Julie), so she’ll find herself running afoul of the government and the evil scientist. The “echo” is probably going to be that the woman who died wearing the suit is somehow bonded with the suit, so that an “echo” of her still exists in the suit, and she’ll probably help Julie out. That’s strictly me guessing, though, which is a bit annoying, as you’d like for a new book to at least explain the gimmick of the book within the first issue (or at the very least, the TITLE of the book).
Moore does a fine job, through his story and his art, of introducing us to Julie’s personality, and there is a park ranger we meet in the comic who gets a similarly nice intro. I bet he’ll have some connection with Julie before this is done (sorta like that movie, Broken Arrow, only with the genders reversed!).
As I mentioned before, I would have liked the plot to be advanced a bit more than what we already have, and the sheer amount of set-up (there is a page of exposition where Moore uses what seems to be almost a parody of exposition scenes, as it is an info dump re: Julie’s answering machine – one message explains that she is broke and the other one explains that she is getting a divorce) drags on the quality of the first issue, but the good part about that is that it means the odds are great that later issues will even be better than this one.
That said, there is enough of a plot that, when combined with the nice introductory characterization and the great artwork, I can still feel safe recommending this one.
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