Terry Moore shifted some creative gears in 2007, when after wrapping more than 100 issues of his acclaimed drama/romance/thriller Strangers in Paradise, he immediately got to work on the more superpowered sci-fi series, Echo. Longtime fans didn't seem to suffer from whiplash, however, as Moore played to his strengths by employing swift dialogue and striking black and white artwork to tell the story of a young photographer named Julie burdened with the fate of the world after a military test involving a powerful metal alloy goes horribly wrong. The 30-issue series concluded its initial print run this past summer, but those who have yet to check it out can now explore Moore's handiwork digitally on comiXology.

Though Echo outfits Julie with supernatural (if science-based) abilities, the story sticks to characters over concepts. Julie doesn't relish leaving her normal life behind when the military comes after her to recover the mysterious metal that's bonded to her skin and takes action only in the interest of protecting her friends and stopping Earth's destruction.

On paper, a superpowered lady on the lam racing against the apocalypse might come off a little dark, but Moore's reliable infusion of humor and heart brings balance to the otherwise grim premise without detracting from its gravitas. Characters retain their personalities even if their circumstances are shifted by the weird and the dangerous, and it's a good thing. Did I mention there's a silver lady who can shape-shift her own jetpack? Because Echo's definitely got that, too. There's a reason Lloyd Levin (Watchmen, Hellboy, Mystery Men) spent something like "six figures" to acquire Echo's movie rights.

Here's how Moore describes his approach to Echo:

"I've always loved science fiction, especially the type of story where the physics of life on earth have a line we're not supposed to cross. So, naturally, somebody does and, faster than you can say, 'here, hold this nuke' we have a story. That's Echo. The premise is simple: What if the power to destroy the world rested not with our military, but in the hands of an ordinary woman? Like it or not, Julie Martin finds herself hosting just such a weapon in the liquid metal alloy she wears and cannot remove. When the U.S. and China prepare competing tests of the alloy, Julie knows it will be the last act of mankind. Now the only person who can stop them is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary power."

You can read the first nine pages of Terry Moore's Echo #1, now available on comiXology, below:

[Click Images to Enlarge]

More From ComicsAlliance