Writers: J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Art: J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart
Letterer: Todd Klein
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 2nd, 2022
Hope Redhood and her band have a stand-off with Romulus as they prepare to set off via rocket to Horror Hill. Romulus (with his Frankenstein partner in tow) will do anything to get on the rocket, and conflict ensues in Echolands #6, the last chapter of “Season One” of this massive story, encompassing every genre: horror, mystery, heroic fantasy, and sci-fi.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned here then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
Echolands #6 starts with Romulus showing up and all hell breaking loose, as Hope Redhood and her team refuse to allow him and his Frankenstein-like ally to come with them to Horror Hill, the next destination in their quest. Afterward, they head to Horror Hill, with chilling and surprising results.
As usual with this amazing series, J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman’s writing, combined with J. H. Williams III’s art, pack so much story and detailed visuals in an issue to fill three issues of a regular comic.
With this issue, the story ends halfway through the book, and the remainder of the book is filled with a letters column, a “Here We Ego” cartoon strip, and J. H. Williams III’s music playlist he listened to while working on this chapter. It’s my favorite feature of the book each month and this month it’s 3 ½ pages long(!). At $4.99, this book is a steal. They could charge double that and I’d still pick it up because between the detailed art and the bounty of features each issue, each monthly installment goes way beyond the typical comic format. I’ve discovered so many great new songs from J. H. Williams III’s monthly playlist!
In terms of the story itself, it moves at a lightning pace. My favorite part of the issue is when they arrive at Horror Hill. What we get there is a great combination of spine-chilling horror and action as the team comes under siege by the undead. The undead are drawn surrounded by a black mist and remind me of the towering skeletal hooded figures from the film “Tombs of the Blind Dead”. I can imagine them moving in a slow fever dream-like way, much like the undead in that film and the team’s battle with them is epic.
Each of the characters gets a moment, but Rosa, the vampire lady who’s a dead ringer for Vampira, steals the issue. She’s been my favorite character throughout the series so far, but here, she really gets a chance to cut loose, trading barbs with Frankenstein in hilarious fashion, savagely fighting the undead, then ending the issue with a twist ending that’s an awesome cliffhanger for “Season Two” of the story. I look forward to learning more about her when the series returns.
J.H. Williams III’s art on this series has been consistently awe-inspiring, and Echolands #6 is no different. There is so much detail crammed on each landscaped page that you can lose yourself in each one. There are no traditional 6 or 9-panel layouts here. Panels are overlayed on stunning backgrounds, or formed into wheels around a central shape. On one page, as the team blasts off in a rocket, the multi-colored rocket fills the page background as “pop-up” panels show where each person is sitting and what they’re doing. It’s innovative and stunning work and I’ve never seen anything like it before. The closest thing I could compare it to are the layouts Jim Steranko did on his “Nick Fury, Agent of Shield” run, or Will Eisner’s layouts for “The Spirit”, but it far exceeds both of them in the use of color and detail.
I’d love to see these 6 issues collected into an oversized collection one day, this book cries out for it.
Echolands #6 brings the first arc of this saga to a close, ending on a cliffhanger and leaving many subplots open for future development. The art is stunning and adds many layers to the story.