I am a huge fan of Mirka Andolfo. Unnatural was a fun and colorful book that took on deep issues. She was also the highlight of the short-lived Hex Wives. When it was announced that she had a new series coming, I was very excited. Image Comics describes the story as Penny Dreadful meets Dark Shadows, which adds to the excitement. Mercy is a gothic horror tale set during the Klondike gold rush. Set in a small fictional town, the tale promises horror and atmosphere. After a mine explosion leaves many dead, a mysterious woman arrives. But what does she want?
After the vibrant look of Unnatural, the biggest question was whether Andolfo could create something with a darker atmosphere. Her previous work did show she could scale back the vividness of her art, but there was no indication Andolfo could paint a blacker picture. This is answered quickly in Mercy — it’s clear that Andolfo will be able to craft a much grimmer tale.
What makes Mercy work so well is Andolfo does not rely solely on art to convey the desired tone. The book’s opening moments give a sense of danger and despair through action and words. It is not just about what the reader sees, but what is being said. It is a great idea since the comic is not just using one avenue to build its world. Exchanges between characters add to book.
This becomes more obvious during the scenes with Lady Hellaine. The angelic visitor is filled with secrets. Every comment she makes leads to more questions. She is not just a design that can be thrown on a poster or shirt. Hellaine draws readers in based on what she says and how see seems to feel. Along with their recognizable aesthetic, gothic tales have a certain emotional feel that is seen in this comic’s main character.
The look of Mercy is great. Andolfo’s art continues to be eye catching. The characters are filled with emotion and there are some powerful scenes. Andolfo has always done a great job of creating a world around her cast. She is especially good at drawing moments that will make some uncomfortable. For better and for worse, that is no different here.
Mirka Andolfo’s new release shows the talent and versatility of its creator. Mercy looks to be a gothic horror story that will deal with emotional connections. It is able to draw in readers through its visuals and the story it’s telling. The first issue is spent setting up the world and its inhabitants. It will be interesting to see where the story takes its readers.