Okay, I will cut you some slack, imaginary person reading this review who has yet to discover Echoes. This is the fourth issue, so you probably think it’s too late to jump on board with this comic, and your shop hasn’t been carrying more than a few copies anyway. I’ll let that slide. But you better read the inevitable trade collection of this series, because if you don’t, you are passing up one hell of a story. And I say that before I’ve even read the last issue!
The last issue of Echoes ended with what seemed to be a box: there didn’t seem to be any possible explanation for this story besides the obvious one. And while this comic would still be a wonderfully atmospheric tale with fantastic art and some wonderful character moments, it would ultimately end up disappointing.
And then Echoes #4 came out and Fialkov reminded me that I have been his bitch from the very start and he will do with me as he pleases. Not only does he completely flip what I thought I knew, he does it while pointing out that he actually put all the pieces of this puzzle in front of me and I was stupid to notice.
In my defense, I was distracted. I was distracted by this fascinating exploration of a man who just lost his father, a man who is mentally ill, a man who isn’t quite sure where his father ends and where he begins. I was distracted by the fantastic black and white artwork of Rahsan Ekedal, by beautifully laid out and rendered two-page spreads at the beginning of every issue, two-page spreads that are about substance, not flash.
Yes, Echoes is disturbing. Yes, it features a serial killer who targets little girls and, yes, there are times when the insanity on the page is unbelievably creepy and if such things make you uncomfortable, well, that’s going to be a problem. But, really, if you don’t like Echoes then you don’t like great stories.
So, no, don’t wait for the collected edition. Go to your local comic book store and tell them to order all the back issues. And then sit down and enjoy the insanity.