Review – Echolands #1
Artist: J.H. Williams III
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 25, 2021
Variant Artists: J.H. Williams III
A MAJOR IMAGE COMICS 2021 EVENT.
The story of Earth’s last war starts with Hope’s sticky fingers…
The multiple award-winning BATWOMAN team JH Williams III (Promethea, The Sandman: Overture, Batman) and W. Haden Blackman (Star Wars, Elektra) reunite for an all-new ongoing series! They’re joined once again by colourist supreme Dave Stewart and master letterer Todd Klein.
In a bizarre future world that has forgotten its history, a reckless thief Hope Redhood holds the key to excavating its dark strange past – if only she and her crew can escape a tyrannical wizard and his unstoppable daughter. But fate will send them all on a path leading to a war between worlds.
ECHOLANDS is a landscape format mythic fiction epic where anything is possible; a fast-paced genre mashup adventure that combines everything from horror movie vampires to classic mobsters and cyborg elves, to Roman demigods and retro rocket ships. It’s going to be a helluva ride!
Each issue of the series will offer a Raw Cut edition, featuring the art from J H Williams III as it looked leaving his work studio
Artwork & Writer: J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman
It’s a brave new world for Williams and Blackman here as they shake off the dusty boring panel and page formal of traditional comics for a modern, strange and unique tale. Panels and script are stacked one top of, to the side of and through other panels to add movement, scale and dimensions to the narrative.
Even stranger, the artist provides you with his playlist so that you can listen along with the songs he used to create the script and artwork. I’m sure there must be a playlist on Spotify for it already.
The use of the De Luca effect throughout the book creates the dynamic movement of both Hope and her pursuers jump out the page. Moving the layout from portrait to landscape format could lose pace but Williams seems to compensate with the layering each page with the same volume of panels that a standard formatted book would use.
The story revolves around Hope a young girl plucked from her reality and plunged into a nightmarish future time where cultures and timescales seem to clash. Hope is a thief and in this issue is pursued by guards after she steals a wizard’s gem. Cornered she unleashes her powers, literally tearing the guards apart.
Visually impressive, narratively light allowing your eye to constantly return to images finding hidden content by using imagery and layering to add to the story.
Flipping the edge of a comic to the portrait is a brave but dangerous model. Williams and Blackman cutting edge skills and use of an array of mediums, styles and images create a visual ballet for the comic reader.
If you enjoyed our review, look out for Echolands #1 at your Local Comic Shop
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Have a look at our preview of the first few pages to whet your appetite