I got to take an early look at the new Dark Horse graphic novel Echoes coming out November 23rd. The book is written by the company president and founder Mike Richardson and drawn by artist Garbiel Guzmán. The premise of it is simple, Fred Martin suffered from abuse as a child and witnessed a tragedy that affected him for the rest of his life. A freak accident gives him the chance to drastically change things.
This is a difficult book to review because the subject matter and the twist happen so early on that any real discussion includes spoilers. Plus, this feels like a very personal story of both the good and bad of humanity. Richardson's writing gives us a good look inside a man who is angry at the world, but when given the chance to make a difference, he turns out to be better than expected.
Guzmán's art is very good here. He keeps the story moving along when there is very little action. Most people think of the comic medium as a place for gods to do battle and bullets to fly. But this book shows us a thriller with only a hint of science fiction, but every page grabs the reader just the same.
This is the type of storytelling that is starting to find an audience on shelves filled with robots, spandex and capes. Books like Postal, Think Tank and now Echoes tell stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. A movie studio could easily take the graphic novel and use it as storyboards for a film without having to change much of anything.
Echoes is a well crafted story about getting a second chance. It's definitely worth picking up.