Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review - Echoes TPB (@DarkHorseComics)


"This will be the last time..."

If we ever figure out time travel, there will be lots of destinations and eras people would visit. The reasons for those visits would be many, but you can be sure that things will get crazy sooner than later. In Echoes TPB from Dark Horse Comics, things are definitely getting intense. The issue is written by Mike Richardson, illustrated by Gabriel Guzmán, colored by Java Tartaglia and lettered by Nate Piekos.

Troubled pilot Fred Martin is caught in a bizarre storm and loses control of his aircraft. Martin awakens unharmed, only to discover that he is thirty years in the past with the impossible opportunity to right the wrong that ruined his future. But to prevent murder, will he commit murder?

Richardson knows that traveling through time bears plenty of consequences and--lucky for him--he doesn't really have to deal with them in Echoes. That's because the book is more about deciding in the moment to take an opportunity to change something and less about the aftermath of that decision. DC shook up their universe with Flashpoint and focused more on the consequences whiles Richardson focuses more on Fred Martin attempting to fix himself by changing the past. It's an interesting approach that's buoyed by plenty of dialogue that reinforces the notion that Fred can point to the one point in his past that changed him dramatically for the worst. And Richardson does give the book enough of a narrative that you're kind of rooting for Fred to do what you think he's going to do.

The artwork by Guzmán is very crisp. His style emphasizes the facial features and expressions of the characters in a way that better defines them; for instance, young Fred looks incredibly innocent and you feel for him. Guzmán appropriately taps into the era for illustrating the book in a style contextually relevant, offering a setting full of throwbacks and nostalgia. The style lends itself to the book as each panel clearly defines the shot and lets the reader know what exactly is happening. Tartaglia's colors are more in line with the Seattle-area location than the era as he eschews neons for more rustic, earthy colors.

Echoes TPB is a different take on the concept of time travel and altering the past to change the present. Fred Martin has gone through a lot in his life and he knows why, seemingly resolute to take the strange opportunity given to him to fix things. Richardson doesn't really focus on how exactly how the storm sent him back in time or what happens after his actions there, instead looking at the decision itself to actually make a change. The artwork by Guzmán is clean and organized, using very expressive characters to sell the emotions running high throughout. Echoes TPB is a book focused more on knowing the consequences of your action as opposed to the consequences themselves.

Echoes TPB is available November 23.

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