REVIEW: ‘St. Mercy,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

St. Mercy #1

St. Mercy #1 is published by Image Comics under the Top Cow imprint, written by John Zuur Platten, and art by Atilio Rojo. Toctollissica is a young Incan girl born 500 years ago. She is preparing to serve her people in a way that she has been told is the greatest of honors. She is to be sacrificed to their god so that their people will be safe. Centuries later, a young Peruvian woman named Mercy carries a secret with her into the heart of the American Old West.

When I dive into a new story one of two things need to make a strong impression to get me looking forward to the next issue. The book needs to either have strong characters that grab my attention in some way or there has to be a narrative hook that leaves me needing to know what the plot has to tell me in the future. Sadly, St. Mercy #1 manages to bring neither of these elements to its story. Let’s talk about the characters first.

Splitting its time between two different periods makes it so the book cannot give too much attention to either of the plot’s primary characters. While the Incan side of the story spends a fair amount of time focused squarely on that period’s protagonist, the American side of the story is split between so many pieces that we get a scant number of panels with that protagonist. What I know of either of them leaves me feeling like they are each fairly one-dimensional cutouts of characters. Neither comes across as nuanced or interesting. They are goal-oriented to the exclusion of all else. If the book introduced some interesting side characters that might not be bad, but there is so little time to establish anything beyond these two that they are all the book has to hang its hat on from a personality standpoint. And they prove to be a weak hook for it.

St. Mercy #1′s story could develop into something interesting, but the book spends too much time on secondary plot points to allow the story to give enough information to sell me on what this book is actually going to be about. While one can presume there will be fantasy elements coming in future issues, even that is left unsure. There is just too much left unknown to be able to have any sense of what is coming.

The art delivers what story we can find well. Rojo’s art style works well for both of the time periods the book takes place. The emotions of characters are captured clearly, and the art frequently puts the reader right in amongst the action of the book’s moments. Combined with solid color work, St. Mercy #1 manages to bring a satisfactory art performance to its pages.

The final piece of the book’s visual presentation is the lettering. The lettering provides the reader with a clear and easy-to-read presentation that allows them to follow the book’s moments with ease.

So, when all is said and done St. Mercy #1 comes up wanting. While there is some possibility in its overall story, so little is given to go on, and the characters fall so flat, that it is hard to recommend this book on the chance that better things may come from the groundwork it lays here.

St. Mercy #1 is available on now wherever comics are sold.

St. Mercy #1
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TL;DR

So, when all is said and done St. Mercy #1 comes up wanting. While there is some possibility in its overall story, so little is given to go on, and the characters fall so flat, that it is hard to recommend this book on the chance that better things may come from the groundwork it lays here.