Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 04, 2020

Writer, Artist, Colourist: Mirka Andolfo
Colour Assistant: Gianluca Papi
Letters: Fabio Amella

What’s really unusual with this comic is that the writing, art and colours are all from the one person, the insanely talented Mirka Andolfo. While not unheard of it puts her amongst a very small group of comic book creators who are solely responsible for the entire comic.

I really enjoyed this comic, it does a really good job of introducing the characters, the world, and mainly all the different mysteries. It’s a Victorian gothic horror story which oozes atmosphere. It takes its time introducing the main plot, currently I haven’t got much idea what’s going on, but that’s ok. It’s a fun time being introduced to the world, and I would much rather read a story which takes its time to develop naturally instead of feeling rushed because of the nature of comics being a short format.

The characters are all really well formed, and it only takes a few lines of dialogue or few panels of expressions to learn a lot about them and have a good feel of who they are. I feel like the supporting cast are well established. As for the mysterious Lady Hellaine, not a lot is revealed, but she makes for an intriguing character.

It’s also aimed at the adult market, swearing isn’t censored, and the violence and sex is clearly aimed for adults. I always find that refreshing in comics, especially since far too many comics that are clearly aimed at an adult market feel they’re unnecessarily censored. And it allows Andolfo to concentrate on telling the story she wants to tell rather than worrying what is ok to include to make it accessible for all ages.

The art is incredible throughout. I always feel the best comics are where the wrtier and artist have a really good relationship and can both make the most of the others work, since Andolfo is doing both it means she can really play to her strengths. She knows when a picture is enough to tell the story, and where a bit of dialogue works best. More than that she knows how to tell a mystery. We learn enough to follow the story, but are also left with a million questions. And this combination of being artist and writer are one of the ways she manages to create a sense of danger and horror throughout, even if the reader doesn't yet know why we should be feeling this way.

The first page uses shadows to great effect, it really helps build the horror vibe from the intro. The characters all have unique looks and are instantly recognisable. Their expressions convey how they're feeling so we're never in any doubt. The art is definitely one of the highlights of an incredibly well done and interesting debut issue.

An intriguing tale, unfolding at its own pace and never feeling rushed, Mercy #1 introduces readers to a world steeped in gothic horror. While providing plenty of questions and no answers yet gives us a compelling reason to keep reading. The atmosphere this comic creates is fantastic. It’s all the more impressive when you consider how hard Andolfo must have worked to not only write but draw the tale. Fans of gothic horror will not want to miss this.

Our Score:


A Look Inside