The things from our past, will always be a part of the future we are set to lead. Negative and positive experiences collide, shaping us, molding us and determining decisions that seem so right at the time, with only hindsight bearing the sole judge of a life lived or a life wasted. If you were given the opportunity to put right, what you think once went wrong, would you take it?
Fred Martin is in a world of hurt. True, he drives a classic car put that’s about all that he has got going for him. Being orphaned at an early age has chiseled him into a world beaten man, angry at everyone. The lure of making some cash flies him and his plane into a crazy storm, that he manages to survive. That is until he attempts to make the return trip. His stubbornness is almost the end of him as he crashes his plane. Yet survive again he does, though this time he awakes in the past. Figuring where he is in his own life line, Martin sets off to change his greatest regret, regardless of how it may impact his later self. Thus we are introduced to Patti, his mom and his younger self, as he sets about his meandering plan.
Its been said by a number of people who there is a stark lack of originality in comic books; that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. With that in mind, it is easy to dismiss this book as a Flashpoint / Quantum Leap affair where the saving of a butterfly only serves to create a hurricane later. Indeed, writer Mike Richardson, probably aware of the instant comparisons, creates a familiar tale, filled with characters that at first glance, appear as clichéd as the whole story. But somewhere along the way something changes; the characters become interesting and engaging. The plot moves along as a fair pace, which doesn’t allow the reader to focus on the story elements that you may have seen before. Older Martin’s interaction with his younger self are probably the most engaging, with the emotional tightrope that he walks with his own Mom coming a strong second. Richardson treats their relationship with a maturity, respecting Patti and not turning the tale into something sordid.
Gabriel Guzman provides the art, including his own inks. It is the type of art that Dark Horse tends to favour. Strong faces, with good camera angles, emphasizing the emotion of the types of stories that they like to tell. Guzman’s pages are panel laden, albeit in different styles, that suits the tone of the story. At times, the figure work can look a little flat, with characters kind of left in movement limbo, but it doesn’t detract from the storytelling. Colors are provided by Java Tartaglia, whose work is solid throughout with the lightning storms being the highlights.
Echoes; a reverberation of the past. The title alludes to the journey that Martin is going through, but could also be used as a nod to the influences mentioned earlier. That allusion is probably going to be the hardest sell in regards to the book and it is one that is only overcome by reading the book and immersing yourself in Martin’s journey.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art -4.5 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Writer: Mike Richardson
Artist: Gabriel Guzmán
Publisher: Dark Horse