This Week’s Haul

Comic books I bought the week of 5 March 2008.

  • Countdown to Final Crisis #8 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Keith Giffen, Carlos Magno & Rodney Ramos (DC)
  • Countdown to Adventure #7 of 8, by Adam Beechen, Allan Goldman & Julio Ferreira, and Justin Gray, Fabrizio Fiorentino & Adam DeKraker (DC)
  • Clandestine #2 of 5, by Alan Davis & Mark Farmer (Marvel)
  • The Twelve #3 of 12, by J. Michael Straczynski, Chris Weston & Garry Leach (Marvel)
  • Echo #1, by Terry Moore (Abstract)
  • The End League #2, by Rick Remender, Mat Broome & Sean Parsons (Dark Horse)
  • The Boys #16, by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson (Dynamite)
Echo #1 Terry Moore made his name in comics in the 90s with his long-running series Strangers in Paradise, which was a sort of female buddy comic with a big helping of romantic tension on the side. The original mini-series was moving and hilarious, with just the right amount of implausible lunacy to make it exciting without being ridiculous. It then launched into an ongoing series, which frankly lost me pretty quickly: The grim details of Katchoo’s past, the endless and tedious introduction of the main antagonist, it wasn’t funny, and it quickly ceased to be fun, and I stopped buying it about 12 issues in.

One thing that was just as good even when I gave up on it was Moore’s artwork, which was expressive and inventive and leaped off the page even though the page was in black and white. (Some folks love black and white artwork. I feel it’s an extremely rare artist whose work looks as good in B&I as in color. Moore is one of those few.)

Having wrapped up SiP last year, Moore is now back with Echo, whose first issue came out this week. Like – it seems – a lot of first issues these days, not a lot happens in this one; rather it’s some very broad set-up with “uncompressed” storytelling. It opens with a woman apparently test-driving a high-tech flying suit – which is somehow nuclear but looks like shiny metal – when her controllers double-cross her and hit her with missiles. The suit fragments and rains pieces onto our presumptive heroine, Julie, a photographer who, we learn, lives alone with her dog and whose husband is divorcing her. The largest remaining piece she finds attaches itself to her skin – and the issue fades out.

So, lots of questions: Who’s conducting the test? What does the suit do? What will it do to Julie? Why’s the book called Echo? Will it at all resemble the long-ago Peter B. Gillis/Kelley Jones series Chrome? (I’m almost – but not quite – the only one who remembers that series, it seems.) All things considered, it’s way too soon to tell.

Fortunately, Moore’s art is as good as it was ten years ago – maybe better. Will I like it better than I did SiP? I hope so.

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