Things are starting to heat up in Reverb Comics’ “Echoes of the Triumphant no 2.” Ever since the chemical accident that has made some of the citizens of Echo City into Tweaks, or metahumans with special abilities, Adrian has gone from MMA fighter to beleaguered accountant to a wanted vigilante. And from the last issue, with some help from his brother Martin (a Tweak who can control computers), he has also stolen a suit of state-of-the-art armor from X-Pel (an organization aimed at policing the Tweaks and Echo City) to help him with his mission to track down Lionheart, the leader of the Tweaks.
With the first and second issues, comic writer Pat Murphy introduces us to Adrian, a young man who is just starting to figure out his purpose in the post-accident Echo City. Now, it seems that the vigilante may be in over his head. While Adrian is a formidable fighter and a capable investigator (is able to take on two Tweaks and is able to successfully track Lionheart’s money laundering activities to a strip club), he is still just a non-powered vigilante fighting against superhuman Tweaks. Even with a super-powered suit, Adrian does not know what he is getting himself into. A lesson he will soon learn.
While investigating Lionheart’s activities, he is admonished by his sister Alida who warns him to be careful. Little to Adrian’s knowledge, she sends over a friend to follow the neophyte vigilante and keep an eye on him. We learn that this friend of Alida’s is Loretta who happens to be a Tweak.
After Adrian encounters and gets beaten to a pulp by Lionheart, who is a muscle bound lion and human hybrid, Loretta comes to his rescue using her teleportation powers. He is taken to Loretta’s dimension at the behest of Alida. In addition, his sister urges Loretta to train Adrian to fight the Tweaks. Here, we also see Adrian’s arrogance. He feels that as an MMA fighter, he does not need any training but Loretta reminds him that he almost died at the hands of Lionheart. Adrian reluctantly takes Loretta up on her offer but he is quickly kicked out of her dimension for trying to make a move on her.Later on, Adrian finds Martin and they both decide to return to his apartment
Meanwhile, Richie, an acquaintance of Adrian, comes to Adrian’s apartment to tell Alida that he was fired for stealing the X-Pel armor he created (when it was Adrian who stole the armor). We learn that Richie needs medication after being exposed to the chemicals from the accident. It seems that he struggles with both anxiety and evil thoughts. Haunted by the lingering thoughts, Richie screams at them to shut up much to Alida’s horror. When Adrian and Martin return, the former throws Richie out much to his sister’s dismay. Saddened, Richie is still haunted by evil thoughts until, at the end of this issue, he meets a Tweak who shows him surveillance footage of Adrian stealing the X-Pel armor.
The story has gotten interesting and is connecting the characters. Adrian is hellbent on taking down Lionheart so that he could get the promotion he feels he deserves. However, it seems that his desires cause him to push people away. For instance, his arrogance and lust pushed away the aforementioned Loretta who offered to train him for his war against Lionheart. In addition, his desire to take out Lionheart caused him to push Richie away. Furthermore, Adrian always viewed Richie as a stalker or a tag-along and not a true friend. When I read this issue for a second time, I felt sorry for Richie since it seemed that he needed a friend and that Adrian further hurt him by not only kicking him out but stealing his armor which got him fired. And amidst all this, Alida has to pick up the pieces caused by the mess Adrian creates.
While the art done by Jarrod Bezzina has been amazing due to showcasing the character designs, I feel that there needs to be more in depth setting in the panels. For example, the first three panels of Alida talking with Adrian on the phone made me wonder whether she was at his apartment or if she was outside. The only way I was able to realize that she was outside was when she was handing flowers to a Tweak and the fourth panel showed her outside the store. I also feel that the timing of the panels is a little too quick at times. One notable example of this is on page 7 when Adrian is infiltrating Lionheart’s operation. I would have loved to see more panels of him running to evade fire from the Tweak and then changing into his suit. However, the fight scenes between the Tweak, and eventually Lionheart were my favorite panels since they showed a lot of action-to-action panel scenes.
Overall, the story and art of the comic are great and I am looking forward to seeing where “Echoes of the Triumphant” goes!
Written by Pat Murphy
Art by Jarrod Bezzina
Letters by Michael McAdam
Edited by Alexi Kott