Writer and Artist: Mirka Andolfo
When the placid mining village of Woodsburgh is disturbed by a series of brutal murders, the settlement is in turmoil. And as the first snow covers the chaos in a white blanket, a mysterious woman in black arrives, eliciting a totally different kind of unrest. But who is Lady Hellaine, really? And what’s her secret agenda?Acclaimed UNNATURAL creator MIRKA ANDOLFO presents a sensual Victorian gothic horror about otherness, damnation, redemption, and what it means to be a monster in a horror tale perfect for fans of Penny Dreadful, Crimson Peak, The Alienist, Parasol Protectorate, and Dark Shadows.
I am a huge fan of Mirka Andolfo. Her table was one of the first I stopped at during C2E2. Andolfo’s Unatural was a fun and colorful book that took on deep issues. With ever new series Andolfo announces a buzz is sent through the comic world. The best way to describe Mercy is like Penny Dreadful meets Dark Shadows, both in tone and imagery. Mercy is a gothic horror tale set during the Klondike gold rush, after a mine explosion leaves many dead, a mysterious woman arrives. But what does she want?
As with her previous series, Mirka Andolfo is both the writer and main artist for Mercy. This is both odd and impressive in today’s comic world, where collaborations can often lead to postponed or canceled books. Like a high end indie film maker, Andolfo has control of her story and a tremendous amount of creative freedom. That very freedom shows through as her iconic style shines through every inch of this first issue.
Mercy #1 is exactly the sort of introduction you are hoping for. The setting is dark and ominous and you get the feeling that are hidden plot devices on every page. This results in not just reading, but full out scanning every panel.
The backstory of Woodsburgh is quickly revealed, but I believe we are just scratching the surface of its history. Though perhaps it just feels that way because of the monster dwelling there. One this is certain – this series has immediately caught my attention. The backstory alone is compelling enough, even without the implied supernatural elements to bring the series to an even darker point.
Compelling stories are not the only thing fans have come to expect from Mirka Andolfo. Her art is stunning. Part of what I love about her art is that is changes with each series. What you see in Mercy is different than you see in Unnatural, which is different than you saw in Hex Witches. Most artists are not comfortable stepping away from styles that made them famous, but Andolfo shows us her mastery of many styles.
Then there’s the coloring for this issue, which is unparalleled. The scenes are filed with unexpected pops of color, but they feel elegant, striking, and almost natural in the scenes portrayed. The colors add a rich depth both to the characters and their backdrops.
Bottom like is Mercy #1 was a chilling first issue in what is sure to be a memorable series. Death and destruction await the residents of Woodsburgh and I want to be there for every sweet evisceration.