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Mercy #3 – Review
Gothic horror in comic books has been explored in the past. Though what gothic horror comics rarely do is inject new blood into a sub-genre in desperate need of new life. Image Comics‘ Mercy plays into the desperation, poverty and classism of what makes a great gothic horror fable. When the lives of a lower class are easily bought and discarded as a meaningless commodity, this gives an interesting prospective narrative to build and explore. In short, that’s what Mercy gives us.
Writer, artist and colorist Mirka Andolfo (Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, DC Bombshells) is masterful in her precision of storytelling and pacing. Mercy is highly reliant on dialogue and gradual exploration of the creepy town her characters exist in. This provides an interesting causeway to the motivations and sadness in her characters. Mercy finds the beauty in the savagery of the human condition through exploratory themes of oppression, classism and abandonment. An interesting contrast when the monsters of this story convey more emotions than the human characters who are cold and brutal.
It’s easy to get swept up in the gothic imagery. The pale faces of the characters combined with darker shading and vibrant colours of the monsters is quite breathtaking. This series and consequently, this issue, has Abdolfo’s signature style written all over it. Both in style and finesse. Her new-wave intrepretation of an anime looking character is a style I’ll never get sick of seeing.
Mercy is a haunting tale filled with guile and deceit as much as beauty and wonder. There’s a consistent air of spooky and creepiness which adds to the horror element. There’s a dynamic of bone chilling fear and childlike wonder. You’ll come out of Issue 3 feeling the nostalgia that came with urban tales of what goes bump in the night.