Propaganda looks at Echo. The next big project from Terry Moore
Echo # 1
Written and illustrated by Terry Moore
Echo is the new series from Terry Moore, much loved round these parts for his series Strangers In Paradise (link to the review of SiP). When that series ended many of us wondered what he was going to do next and although this technological chase thriller isn’t initially what we were expecting it is worth remembering that Terry always tried to put an element of a crime thriller throughout SiP.
Julie Martin is minding her own business in the desert, taking photographs of flowers when there’s a huge explosion above her and small metallic pellets rain from the sky. Julie’s unfortunate enough to be underneath the result of the murder of a woman test flying an experimental beta-suit. The woman, Annie, is on a routine test flight but quickly
realises that her employers;the PHI project have decided to test the suits limits and her life is completely expendable.
But the suit’s not just a flight suit. It’s also a tactical nuclear weapon, one that rains down from the skies following Annie’s murder. Each piece of the suit is a bomb, transformed by the explosion:
Or, as Foster, boss of the PHI Project explains to Genral Cade: “Clearly the viscoelasticity of the suit is similar to an inorganic polymer/ We may have just created the Thixotropic liquid of nuclear weaponary …. It appears the supercritical conditions of the explosion turned the suit into silly putty. Our one bomb … is now many.”
(In case you’re interested, Moore has got his use of Thixotropic substances pretty much right. link. Oh sad, sad me.)
(It’s raining …. thixotropic liquid bomblets. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it? Art from Echo # 1 by Terry Moore.)
And this silly putty is what rains down from the sky onto Julie. Small balls of silvery bombness stick to her and her truck, and then, when she makes the mistake of picking up a larger piece, it bonds to her skin and the pellets migrate across her body to form a breastplate, complete with a symbol last seen on the destroyed beta-suit.
It’s too early to see which way Moore’s going with this, although it certainly looks like he’ll be pushing the thriller aspects of his SiP work more to the fore here. As for whether you’ll like it, I’d imagine that depends on your fondness for SiP. The art’s the same easy on the eye, big panel, simply laid out joy that SiP always was. I imagine that he’ll add more characters and expand on their background in time. The fascinating thing about Echo and SiP is Moore’s affinity for female characters, he obviously feels very comfortable writing them. And, judging on the responses we used to get at my old shop, Nostalgia & Comics, it’s obvious that they’re well written enough to appeal to a large female audience.
(Can Echo repeat the incredible success and incredibly wide – and real mainstream – appeal that Strangers in Paradise achieved? We wait and see. Cover to Strangers in Paradise Volume 1 by Terry Moore)
I thought Echo was an interesting and intriguing start to a series and I’ll be picking up the next few issues to see how it develops. He’s not doing anything radically different here, but that was never what Terry Moore was about. SiP was great because Terry wrote believable yet fun characters and made you care deeply about what they were going through. My faith in him is such that I can pretty much guarantee that the same will be true of Echo.
Richard Bruton is a lifelong comics fan and former Comic Book Store Guy; you can read more of his thoughts on comics and life on his blog Fictions.