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

I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with this book on a monthly basis. I’ll give the book a couple more issues, but if I’m not completely hooked by then, I’ll just wait for the trades. Echo is not a bad book by any stretch – it’s got a good science fiction concept, beautiful art, and excellent pacing. Now, you’re probably asking, “Well what’s there to complain about then?” And my answer is, I just don’t know if there’s enough story to get me by each issue. There’s also elements that nag me as disingenuine at times (which I’ll get to in a moment).

Terry Moore wastes no time putting us right on the heels of last issue with Julie’s metal problem. Try as she might, it won’t come off her skin. So, she drives to the nearest hospital for help to which the doctor completely blows her off; he believes she’s playing a prank on her. And even though the nurse is convinced that Julie’s problem is serious and reak, she wastes no time in discharging her. Now see, this is just stupid. No hospital would turn a patient away – especially when it’s something this serious. Prank or not, Julie easily could seek out a second opinion or at least fight for it. But she doesn’t, she just gives up and walks away. She also does this to her soon to be ex-husband when he blows her off. I mean, if her problems are as serious as this, wouldn’t she just drive down to his place of work and show him the problem first hand?

It’s this kind of characterization that annoys me. It’s like she’s playing the “stupid” character in a horror movie. You know the one I’m talking about – the one that gets killed. Moore has constructed events like these to play upon our sympathies for the character, but they do anything but. Readers are smarter than this. Don’t play them as fools. This is a serious problem for me, and it’s not one I’m going to let go. Moore should either let moments like these play out realisticly or he shouldn’t do them at all.

These rest of the issue is otherwise excellent. Moore does a great job with his compositions and narrative. They’re both much improved over the first issue. There’s a scene in particular with Julie and her dog that grounds this book with a lot of realism. We get more of the government conspiracy, and a new player enters the story who will most likely become Julie’s adversary. There’s a lot to like about this issue, but I’m just not convinced (yet) that this is a title that will read well on a monthly basis. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – Scalped and Walking Dead are similar books that read much better in trade form – so we’ll see. (Grade: B-)

– J. Montes