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Comic Book Review
Gabby and the Doctor are back in New York after a terrifying excursion into the past. Having witnessed the true value of life in the terror of the trenches, Gabby’s travels have already left a deep impact – but evading the stares of the Weeping Angels may prove easier than coming home. Overwhelmed by her experiences, Gabby is happy to return to Sunset Park, and see her friends and family again… until the Echo strikes, amplifying everyday noise into ear-shattering, mind-splinteringly debilitating waves of sound. What is the Echo, and can the Doctor and Gabby solve the mystery before the cacophony drives the city mad…?
This strikes a chord with me! I often find modern telly programmes to be too darned noisy – with music that’s too intrusive, sound effects that are too loud, and dialogue that I can’t make out properly. When the phenomenon known as the Echo strikes in this issue, characters similarly cannot hear others speak or even hear themselves think. Thankfully, this being a comic book, we can read the words being spoken, so the audio mix is not an issue (no “mumblegate” here). Loud sounds are rendered as big comic words.
The artwork, by newcomer Eleonora Carlini, veers towards the cartoony end of the visual spectrum, but it’s an appropriate look for this frequently zany one-shot romp. The bad guys are ugly little green critters in three-legged travel machines, looking rather like a cross between a Madball and Crazy Frog. One of them treats us to the following twist on a cry for help that was well-used by the Daleks in the 1980s: “My undercarriage has been discombobulated! I am unseated!”
Gabby looks more like her old self, which is fitting given the homecoming aspect of Robbie Morrison’s story. Daniel Indro has provided us with great art over the last four issues, but his Gabby never really looked much like the character originally envisaged by Elena Casagrande. As rendered by Carlini, she does. With the return of Gabby’s bickering family and her best friend Cindy, it’s almost as if Casagrande and this range’s original writer Nick Abadzis are back in the room. In fact, they will return next issue, towards which this instalment is clearly paving the way…
Echo is a short and simplistic affair, but a fresh and fun one.