Story: Mirka Andolfo
Art: Mirka Andolfo with color assist by Gianluca Papi
Letterer: Fabio Amerlia
What They Say:
The Woodsburgh Devil strikes again when another innocent victim falls into the clutches of the elusive killer. Meanwhile, Lady Hellaine invites the local bourgeoisie to a social event, attracting the attention of the powerful Lady Swanson. Subterfuge and lies emerge as the second chapter of MIRKA ANDOLFO’s new project divulges a shocking revelation.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ll admit, I was the most nervous about getting back into Mercy than any other book I’m currently reading in serialized form. I don’t get a lot of regular books in general but when you end up missing a few months of publication with a complex book, it can be pretty rough. The opening installment for Mercy was strong visually and with its cast of characters but it was also incredibly overstuffed with things going on. So going into a second installment a few months later than planned means there’s a bit of a disconnect, unfortunately. The book once again looks absolutely beautiful, which is a given coming from Andolfo and the assistance on coloring here, and that’s a huge, huge part of the draw. I’m intrigued by the story as well but it’s going to really take a few issues for it to connect for me.
There’s a lot going on in this book and the main focus, at least for me, is on how Goodfellow is doing his best to get Hellaine to do what’s needed to fit into this town so they can accomplish their goals. She’s still not keen on doing the things necessary to pass as human, such as eating or drinking, as you get the sense that it’s really beneath her and what she feels is due to someone like her. But it’s a necessary survival tactic until the day her kind could rule over everything. That said, it is fun to watch her demeanor over this and the way she has to play pretend with the household maid that they’ve kept at the residence, one that Goodfellow even deals with in a really amusing way with teases about a dinner date that makes her blush. It’s all just too much for Hellaine with how beneath her it is.
As you would have in a situation like this, Hellaine ends up throwing quite the party to mark her arrival with a lot of people invited from the town, though none of the less welcome element. Naturally, a few do show up and events end up getting out of control along the way, mostly thanks to the orphan kid Rory that’s really taken to Hellaine. When the kid ends up outside, Goodfellow sends Hellaine out to feed on her and it’s a brutal sequence with how Hellaine reveals herself, not that Rory understands it. What saves Rory are the punks we had seen before that were accosting people and are now ready to try their luck on Hellaine. But it allows her to really go all out and Andolfo’s work here plays to the horror in that right kind of gothic beauty of it that’s unsettling but you can’t look away from. It doesn’t play out long and it reshapes the narrative because of Rory seeing it, misinterpreting it, and bonding with her more, but such are how stories zig and zag.
I really love just about everything with Mercy but I’m fearing it as a serialized book, especially launching as it did just before the pandemic got fully underway. It’s one that I think is going to read a whole lot better when you have the trades and I desperately wish this was just done as an OGN and even had a hardcover edition at launch as I’d be all over that and likely jumping up and down about it. I love these first two issues but they bring out so much for the reader to take in that you really need to read them both together without a gap and likely do the same for the next couple. It’s complex, beautiful, and intriguing with what it wants to do an I want more of it right now.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 27th, 2020