By Terry Moore (art & story), Brian Miller (colors)

I’m probably going to be flamed by the comic community for this, but I’ve never read a Terry Moore book before. I’ve heard *many* good things about Strangers in Paradise – and I do plan on buying all the trades soon, because I’m itching to see what he can bring to Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. So truth be told, Echo is the first work I’ve ever read by Terry Moore. And I’ll be honest, if I had not met him at WonderCon ’08 I probably would have skipped over this book. He sold me on this book, so Terry, if you’re reading this, give yourself a pat on the back.

Echo starts off in a very awkward way. A woman flies through the air with a nuke strapped to her back as she tests kind of experimental flight suit. This invention enables her to fly through the skies with great maneuverability and at high Gs. Then something terrible goes wrong. For unexplained reasons, the Air Force blows her out of the sky with a missile. This causes the nuke she’s carrying to explode. A form of fallout from the nuke ends up mixed with this now dead woman’s suit. I’m not going to go any further on what scientists determine of these little stones, but let’s just say it’s not good.

Enter Julie, a normal woman out photographing nature when this catastrophe occurs. She’s not perfect – she’s got her share problems: her credit’s gone into collections and she’s going through a bitter divorce. But within moments, she’s presented with an extraordinary situation as she’s rained on by these radioactive stones. A lot of these stones fall into the bed of her truck along with a large piece of debris from the detonation. Knowing something’s not right, she flees the scene. It’s only when she gets home that she realizes what trouble she’s gotten herself into.

If you can make it past the clumsy opening, you’re in for a treat. I only say clumsy, because the art contained within the opening pages feels so amateurish in terms of weight, perspective, and dynamics. Once we the story moves to the ground level (literally), Moore’s art begins to shine. Echo is one of those books that you’ll just need to take at face value. There’s no real hard science involved and Moore doesn’t give a lot of explanations, but it’s probably for the best. Instead, we’re presented with a classic science fiction situation in a more modern and realistic setting. Count me on board for next issue. (Grade: B)

– J. Montes