This past week, the Gothic Victorian horror comic, Mercy hit shelves and in my opinion, dominated the week as being the best new comic to grace stores in a long time. Published by Image Comics and written/illustrated by Mirka Andolfo, the series has a lot going for it aside from having an interesting theme.
Andolfo brings the story alive with her beautiful illustrations that alone could tell a captivating story without the need of dialogue. The dark, blueish/purple colors provide a great horror contrast to the scenes set in the daytime. The world definitely feels both real and also fantasy with the eldritch horror undertones that have a constant presence. For just a first issue, the story will snare you in with its mystery and intrigue.
The beginning of the first issue takes place an unknown number of years before the main story where the panels showcase an other-worldly horror slaughter the miners of a small town. The outbreak is dealt with and the incident is covered up but as the story progresses after the time skip it is alluded that there will be more to come and on a bigger scale.
The town is a highly religious one due to the era the story takes place when religion was prevalent. Lady Swanson who had lost her husband years prior during that incident is the scorn of the town and is seen as the scapegoat for the disaster that unfolded where they believe she caved in the mine. Mirka provides a fantastic blend of character and world building while moving the plot ahead at a steady pace. We are then introduced to two new main characters; Nolweinn Hellaine and her “butler”.
This is where Mirka really plays up the mystery and suspense of the story, who is the butler? What is his name? Is Hellaine her real name? Both characters are shrouded in mystery and the only clue we are given is that they are linked to the eldritch horrors that now plague Miss Swanson’s dreams.
I am very excited to what will come next in the second issue and how the story will unfold. I would strongly recommend this series to those that love eldritch horror stories/mysteries. A must buy.