Written by: Joshua Hale Fialkov, Art by: Rahsan Ekedal, Letters by: Troy Peteri, Publisher: Top Cow Publications
Echoes is a spectacular read for anyone looking for a comic that is intense, creepy, and more than a little disturbing. This Wednesday, December 30 saw the debut of the first issue of this five part mini-series. I picked it up out of curiosity seeing that it takes place in Monroeville, PA. – how could a Pittsburgh girl like myself pass it up? My curiosity was duly rewarded.
The story begins with Brian Cohen sitting by his elderly father’s hospital bed, waiting for him to die. He forgives him. Though we don’t know for what exactly, our minds can reel with guesses. As Brian is trying to rid himself of any regrets before his father dies, the old man in the bed has his own confession to make. He is too weak to talk about it, but insistently prattles about a particular address: 1339 Haymaker. His ramblings turn horribly ominous. “The dead girls … so many dead girls.”
Brian immediately makes his way to the address. Unable to take his medication, he is quickly losing his battle with his own mental illness, most likely schizophrenia. He works his way to the crawl space in the basement of the house. The tension is constantly rising with every step he makes until he finally shoves himself into the small cove and looks about for answers. What he finds has a twist to it that I certainly did not see coming. What he finds I’ll leave up to curious readers to find out for themselves.
In addition to the appropriately grim plot is the equally grim artwork. The pictures are frames of shadowy sketched images with detailed expressions of intense emotions. I was skeptical of the black and white artwork at first, but it quickly became clear that the gray scenes were a perfect enhancement for the mood of the story. This mood was nicely consistent throughout the book. I would describe it as being creepy yet curious. I was equally impressed that the pace could move quickly enough to portray a large amount of information about Brian Cohen, yet not lose the reader along the way. This first issue leaves the reader with so many questions. Just what exactly did his father do? Will Brian take after him considering his own struggles with sanity? What is the next step after making such a discovery?
This comic is a good, solid read. Echoes is a credit to Top Cow’s line of horror comics. Fialkov and Ekedal make a great team. This being said, I have only read issue one. I am eager to see if the subsequent four issues will be able to hold the same level of tension and intrigue of this first episode of the story.