I still haven’t had the chance to read Strangers in Paradise. It’s another one of those series like Y or 100 Bullets or Fables that I just plan to buy a crapload of trades at a discount in one big chunk. Despite this, I know that Terry Moore has quite a pedigree. So when I was browsing around Comicopia (which is easily the best comic shop I’ve had the pleasure of visiting) in Boston this weekend, I saw Echo #1 sitting near the counter as an employee’s choice book, so I decided to give it a try.
Just like Strangers in Paradise, this book is all Terry Moore. And he doesn’t waste any time, immediately getting us into the middle of the story, with the establishment of a super suit of sorts that is being tested by an unnamed test pilot that one assumes is our protagonist. We soon find out that this is not the case, and the story moves on to deftly introduce us to the actual female protagonist, as well as a few other characters that will obviously come in to play as the story unfolds. There’s not a whole lot to say, as we’re mostly dealing with the standard build that just about always happens in a number one for a completely new series in a completely new universe. We know the characters. We know the setup. Moore has succeeded in hooking us in to see just what’s going on from here on out. I like the fact that the tone of the book has not yet been established. It’s got some science fiction elements, but isn’t exactly flaunting that portion of the story. We’ve also got a taste of government conspiracy as well, but the writing has in no way pigeonholed us down a single path.
The art is excellent as well. With this being my first foray into Terry Moore’s comic style, I did not know exactly what to expect. The panel layout is varied enough to keep the eye from losing focus due to repetition, and Moore has a very strong sense of sequential art. You have a perfect idea of what’s going on at all times, and there is never a moment when you’re not sure which panel to jump to next. In truth, this is all you need out of the art of a comic book, and anything above and beyond that is just gravy. And in the case of Echo, it’s a very rich and meaty gravy (dear God, that metaphor is reaching).
I mean, there’s never a whole hell of a lot to say with a debut issue. It’s very good. It gets the job done and does everything that a first issue is supposed to. There’s a hell of a lot of potential here, and I would recommend jumping in on the ground floor on this one.