Mercy #1 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer, artist, and colorist Mirka Andolfo, with color assists from Gianluca Papi, and letters by Fabio Amelia.
Mercy #1 begins amid a scene of terror and carnage. A woman, later identified as Lady Gloria Swanson, tearfully fires on hordes of creatures. Flashes of their inhuman features are seen but their true appearance remains a mystery. As Swanson and other villagers make their escape a crate of dynamite is detonated, seemingly killing the creatures. Later on, after the dust has settled, a mysterious traveler strolls through the wreckage causing a strange plant to sprout from a corpse.
The story picks up years later at a memorial service for those lost in a mining accident. But a new tragedy seems poised to strike the sleepy town of Woodsburgh. A mysterious carriage thunders toward the town carrying the enigmatic Mr. Goodwill, and his companion, Miss Hellaine. But there is more to the two than meets the eye, and it appears that whoever they are they bring horrors with them.
Mercy #1 is a solid, if not a little strange, beginning to a horror series. Andolfo paints a clear picture of a sleepy town with a history and secrets. While, at first, each character seems fairly one dimensional, greater depth or mystery is quickly revealed for each of them. While the horror leans more toward Lovecraft than gothic, it still has a distinctly Victorian feel to the setting and characters. The only real criticism to level at the storytelling is that at times it feels a bit cluttered. This isn’t inherently negative, though. There is a lot to set up and many people and places to introduce.
Meanwhile, Andolfo’s art is gorgeous. Each panel is a joy to look at and the style gives it an almost fairytale-like quality. This all serves to make it even more shocking when the adult themes come into play, and there are many. The violence is visceral, the horrors are grotesque, and there’s even a little nudity for good measure. All of it is lovingly rendered, and colored, by Andolfo with Papi. Likewise, Amelia’s letters are well done. It was nice to see bold and visible effects letters. Additionally, the speech and narration were clean, although the font may leave something to be desired from some readers.
Overall I enjoyed Mercy #1. The story demands to be read all the way to the end. The characters are given a surprising depth for as little time as we’re able to spend with them. But by far my favorite part is the way Andolfo abruptly introduces violence, and horror into the story. Scenes that are practically ripped from a Dickens story are juxtaposed with brutality. And I love it. I definitely give this one high recommendation.
Overall I enjoyed Mercy #1. The story features scenes that are practically ripped from a Dickens story and juxtaposed with brutality. And I love it. I definitely give this one high recommendation. The only real criticism to level at the storytelling is that at times it feels a bit cluttered.