Review: ‘Mercy #5’ Is Out For Some Good, Wholesome Revenge

by Malissa White

Heavens to Betsy! Everyone wants a piece of Lady Hellaine, but what does Nolwenn want? Mercy #5 finds us (and Lady Hellaine) reeling from several big deaths and one big fight at the end of Issue #4. Triggered by Rory’s insistence that she is her mother, the ghosts of her past life stir doubt. That past isn’t quite finished with her yet. Its vengeance takes on a new, but familiar form.

Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #5. Cover Art by Mirka Andolfo.

Struggling to hold onto her essence as an eternal extra-dimensional being (known as the Strangers), Lady Hellaine makes a series of mostly bad decisions. Those consequences nip at her heels throughout the issue from her guilt over her last interaction with Johnathan, her relationship with controlling Goodwill and naive Gregor, and her rivalry with Lady Swanson, Fox and her fellow Hunters. Even Rory’s unshakable faith in her is rattled.
Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #5. Preview Page.

Mirka Andolfo, recently featured in Panel x Panel’s 38th issue, deepens the mystery and conflict for our dark heroine. In one of my favorite splashes, we see a pregnant Mercy partially submerged in purple waters, pods protruding from her mouth and vines circling her belly. The pods and vines here loop and swirl mimicking Mercy’s breasts and belly, symbolic of both pregnancy and the cyclical themes in the story. Andolfo’s art evokes the beauty and horror of the moment in a wonderful setup suggesting Gloria’s part in Mercy’s transformation into Lady Nolwenn Hellaine. 
Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #5. Preview Page.

The color work on Betsy, done by Andolfo with the assistance of Gianluca Papi and Chiara di Francia of Arancia Studio does fantastic work setting up the coming end of the issue. Her brown skin is hued purple, symbolic of her coming turn and framed by letterer Fabio Amelia‘s distinctive crawling bubbles. I was especially delighted at the subtle recall to Betsy’s tears hissing on the snow in issue 4. These tears will not hiss, however. Betsy’s emptiness, and the darkness inside, promises more than that. 
Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #5. Preview Page.

Mercy #5 further unveils the fantastic bits of setup that moves the plot forward. Another stunning issue, Andolfo’s work blends fantasy and horror well, with gore that feels delightfully accessible and refreshingly original. Although, all the badass ladies of Mercy might disagree. Issue #6 suggests all their consequences will converge in a truly epic issue. Get your issue on Image Comics, Comixology or support your local comic retailer!

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