REVIEW: ‘Mercy,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Mercy #3

Mercy #3 is published by Image Comics. It comes from the creative team of writer, artist, and colorist Mirka Andolfo. She is assisted by colorists Gianluca Papi, and Francesca Carotenuto and letterer Fabio Amelia.

This issue begins with a small child scraping at the ruins of a mine cave-in. A figure approaches from behind while the child struggles. As the child turns, revealing himself to be infected with the same monstrous affliction as seen in previous issues, he is killed. His assailants are revealed to be a mysterious group of indigenous hunters. With the monstrous child dead the group discusses their next move.

Meanwhile, back in Woodsburgh, the freshly adopted Rory watches as Mr. Goodwill dresses Lady Hellaine. As the three talk, Mr. Goodwill explains his plans to find a suitor for Hellaine. He puts the finishing touches on her dress and departs. As Goodwill’s plan goes into action new players are introduced into the game. But unless they act quickly Woodsburgh will soon be introduced to the horrors that Goodwill and Hellaine intend to unleash.

Mercy #3

With Mercy #3 we’ve hit the halfway point of the series, which is both good and bad. The good is that Andolfo’s story is picking up in intensity and the stakes are rapidly growing. The bad, however, is the pacing. I’ve spoken before about the mysterious nature of the characters in this series. With the first two issues those mysteries were understandable as much of the time was spent establishing setting and conflict. But with issue #3 too much remains unexplained. There are hints and tidbits of information explaining who and what Goodwill and Hellaine are, but not anything concrete. Meanwhile pages are spent with him agonizing over Hellaine’s appearance and teaching her how to keep human food down.

There could very well be payoff for these scenes in future issues. But it’s hard to imagine any payoff that could be more worthwhile than spending that time giving more backstory or information instead. I still believe the central conflict of the story to be very interesting, and the hunters are a very cool new wrinkle. But we’ve hit the halfway point and the story feels  like it’s mirroring Lady Hellaine itself. A mask of refinement barely holding back the horrors underneath. This would be great, except I want to see more of the horror and less of the refinement.

The art, on the other hand, remains gorgeous. Every page is a joy to look at and when the horrors are unleashed, Andolfo does so beautifully.  The colors from Andolfo, Papi, and Carotenuto jump back and forth wonderfully from warm to stark cold. Meanwhile, Amelia’s letters continue to enhance the presentation with their cleanliness and excellent SFX.

Overall, I still quite enjoy this series, but I want to see more from it. With three issues left Mercy #3 threatens to leave much unsaid or, worse, said all at once instead of at an even pace. I still look forward to the next issue, and am too invested in the central mystery to move on. I just hope that the next issue takes a little more time to really let loose, because we can all see that Hellaine is barely keeping it together.


Mercy #3
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, I still quite enjoy this series, but I want to see more from it. The story feels like it’s mirroring Lady Hellaine itself. A mask of refinement barely holding back the horrors underneath. With three issues left Mercy #3 threatens to leave much unsaid or, worse, said all at once instead of at an even pace. I still look forward to the next issue, and am too invested in the central mystery to move on. I just hope that the next issue takes a little more time to really let loose, because we can all see that Hellaine is barely keeping it together.