Mary never turns her back on those who need help.
Writer: Ben Meares
Artwork: Eman Casallos
Colors: Ceci de la Cruz
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
What They Say:
Mary has discovered the true origins of the Blacksmith and is on her way to confront the person she believes is responsible for his murderous actions. But she soon learns that her investigations may have led her to the wrong person and that revelation will make Mary question her own judgment, as well as her entire purpose in New Orleans
Content (please note that portions of review may contain spoilers):
With the truth behind the Blacksmith’s tragic history and the woman who started the journey with him now revealed, Mary has little choice in her next step if she wishes to stop the murders by this ruthless predator – she must confront John. And while her body may complain against aches from unattended injuries, lack of sleep and an empty stomach, New Dawn must be the next stop in her ceaseless journey if she is ever to help a frightened Adam. This place has always been one of solace, not only for the homeless but also herself, but now she deems it as a scourge against those same people if her suspicions are true, and there is only one way prove they may be false. Even if he may be a mute, Medina will find a way to get the proof she so desires and validate all of his playacting is a farce, and his room is where the answers now lie. The data sheet she obtained from Adam matches the print style from the typewriter on his desk and it is all the verification Mary needs to confirm John is a part of this conspiracy, but as the intrepid investigator continues the hunt for more clues, she forgets the marked man is still asleep behind her and is alerted by her snooping.
While he may seemed to have the advantage, a quick transformation and superior agility quickly turned the tables against this helpless defender, causing him to be pinned in his bed as Mystere mercilessly began her savage interrogation. However as she verbally harassed the poor man for answers, all John could offer in return were pitiful sobs and whimpers of someone who has no voice to support himself. It is then does Mary realize he is a part of this scheme, but does not understand the truth in his participation until he hands over another information sheet with her background and urges the woman to smell the chair – it has a faint trace of a well known perfume. With trembling hand John leads Mary out into the common area and around to a place she knows all too well, the management office, and though she thought this was familiar with a press of a hidden button somewhere new was revealed, a hidden room. The place with laden with filing cabinets full of notebooks, pictures, newspaper clippings and other snippets of information which teased her to sort through to link these pieces of the puzzle. Only now did Mary understand New Dawn’s involvement and John’s complacency to go along with these mad machinations, but with this new knowledge can she stop what is to come, or is there something missing from the completion of Beatrice Black’s plan to calm her eternal sadness?
As we finally reach the telling event of the series, one could not anticipate such a surprise twist in the narrative, and yet writer Ben Meares has created one which gradually falls into what he has revealed before, but with all of the unexpected consequences one would never wish upon characters who we have developed such a warm connection with over the course of the title. The Blacksmith is such an ominous antagonist, a being that has no compunction in fulfilling what is expected of him and while we now know the truth behind its motivations, it still does not make the tragedy of his creation any less depressing. But what gives this issue such an unsavory divergence is twofold: the introduction of John’s inevitable involvement, even if its true meaning was much more startling and how human greed can lead one to become corrupted and create a facade which can fool anyone. Meares has enveloped the reader into this warped reality so subtly that the final revelation is shocking, but at the same time the lead up to who was behind this scheme is also clichéd since in hindsight he had given the audience all the clues as to who had access and the most to gain with this foregone conclusion. And yet it is this development of the story which kept us guessing as to where it is leading, making the reader want to come back to see what will happen next, and will make the finale all the more rewarding to watch Mary overcome whatever happens next.
And yet even as we come to terms as to what is developing within the series, one cannot forget this is a visual medium and without the amazing graphic framework created by Eman Casallos, the tale would not have the same charged impact we now relish; but at the same time, his sincere images cannot be as emotive without the engrossing colors of Ceci de la Cruz, which forces us to become enveloped within the story thanks to her captivating skill in manipulating basic tones and shadows in such a manner by which we forget this is a flat page of richness. Their synergistic techniques allow for the viewer to witness the emotional uncertainty displayed within in the opening and is made all the more resonating due to the care taken in portraying each person’s feelings: the clarity and direction of the eyes builds a tense foundation, careful breakdown of each panel makes the reader witness what is necessary and finally, a smooth transition creates a fluidity of movement which projects Mary’s primal strength all as John cannot do anything within the ferocity of her convictions. Then add the careful enrobing of muted tones within the cold embrace of ebony shadows which delineate each fold of fabric, every cease of skin upon worried face and finally the seductive embrace of a woman who is not afraid to confront what she thinks is the truth. And yet one cannot but feel the coming dread as this carefully choreographed dance of disaster unfolds as we finally revel in the truth behind what has be happening within New Dawn – making the traumatic imagery unfolding upon the page all the more hauntingly epic thanks to a careful orchestration of sepia and crimson intermingled within the ever present veil of blackness which lingers within the story. It is these optical marvels of moving portrayals which allows the series to motivate the reader to need to know what happens next, with the satisfaction of being ensnared within an impressive atmosphere of chilling activity which does not allows us to look away or ever wish to due to the disappointment it will eventually end.
Mystere is coming to an end and yet it does not guarantee a finale which will satisfy all who endeavor to fulfill their deepest desires, for selfishness is the core of humanity. As Mary attempts to find the truth behind the Blacksmith’s gruesome rampage, one cannot but hope she will be able to save herself and the one who needs help the most – a frightened man who knows nothing outside a tragic tale of eternal longing. And yet as we continue to be captivated by the moving imagery and emotive colors which portray this tale, a sense of despair pulls us back into what may be our heroine’s greatest fight yet.
Age Rating: T (for Teens)
Released By: Zenescope
Release Date: December 4th, 2019