Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Echo Vol. 1: Moon Lake

by Terry Moore

I'm not sure why I've never gotten into Terry Moore's work.  Strangers in Paradise gets a lot of love, but I never gave it a chance.  When Echo started, it looked interesting, but I never picked it up, until I recently got a few of the trades on Ebay.  It's really very good.

The series opens with a female test pilot flying around in a strange metallic suit, which her military contractor bosses decide to test to failure, with a volley of missile attacks.  The suit explodes and tons of small metallic droplets fall on a dry lake bed.  Another woman, named Julie Martin, is there taking photographs, and is covered by these small beads.  Later, she finds a large chunk of the metal in her truck's bed, and it attaches to her skin, and attracting any of the rest of the metal that is in the vicinity.

Julie quickly learns that this portion of the reconstituted suit won't come off, and has a habit of randomly shocking people who seem to have hostile intent towards her.  The military is after her now, and they've brought in a special agent who excels at profiling people.

At this point, the comic seems like pretty standard fare, but what makes it stand out is the strength of Moore's characterizations.  Julie is a mess.  She's in denial about the fact that her husband is divorcing her, she's broke, and her only living family member is institutionalized in a psychiatric facility.  She's not someone who is well equipped to handle the weirdness that has just come into her world, even with the help of the dead test pilot's park ranger boyfriend.

Between Moore's sharp, character-driven writing and his nice clean artwork, I'm hooked.

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