Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 29, 2020

Writer: Mirka Andolfo
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Colours: Mirka Andolfo
Colour Assistants: Gianluca Papi & Francesca Carotenuto
Letters: Fabio Amelia

Mirka Andolfo has been crafting an incredible story with Mercy, and four issues in the reader is finally getting the answers to the mysteries which have been swirling about since the first issue. It’s been an exciting run so far, but this issue by far outshines the first three. While there has been a certain moral ambiguity around all the main characters in the past, with this issue comes a greater understanding behind the monster that Lady Hellaine is, and it makes all of her actions even greyer than they were before.

Whatever Lady Hellaine, and the others like her are, they’ve felt a lot more alien than your typical monsters. Not only does the reader get an explanation for that with this issue, but it explores this otherness and foreignness in great depth, and it’s an exciting concept that Andolfo has here. But don’t think that understanding what’s going on will make these monsters seem more relatable or predictable, rather the opposite. Andolfo wants to make sure that just because the reader has a better understanding of what is going on that the story is going to be any less of a mystery or predicable. There is a certain moment within this issue which is guaranteed to shock readers.

It’s refreshing to read a story where the writer doesn’t feel the need to hold the readers hand, and doesn’t worry about having a protagonist who is necessarily heroic or even good. While there is always a certain popularity with the anti-hero who perpetually lives in that shade of grey that isn’t what we’re getting here. Lady Hellaine is painted in exactly the way that Andolfo wants her to be. Whether readers relate to, or sympathise with, or even root for her doesn’t appear to be one of Andolfo’s concerns. There’s an element of wanting to tell a certain story and that is exactly what she’s doing. Far too often the tale feels written for the reader, the writer more concerned with telling a story that the reader wants to read than necessarily telling the exact story they want to tell. Not Mirka Andolfo. She’s telling us exactly the story she wants to tell, in all it’s alien, otherworldly logic.

And speaking of telling exactly the story she wants to tell that is exactly what she achieves by also being the artist and colourist on the story. For a number of readers its her art which has drawn them into the story, as an extremely talented artist. They’ve come for the art and stayed for the fantastic story. But the art is absolutely gorgeous, even if the story wasn’t up to the high standards the art would justify buying the comic. The fact that the story is equally good is an added bonus.

The strongest issue yet, filled with plenty of revelations to keep readers hooked and on the edge of their seat, Mirka Andolfo makes sure to fill it with just as many twists and turns while introducing a number of new mysteries. Where this story will end up remains to be seen, but hopefully it’ll continue on past the six issues originally planned for it, or future mini-series can be told in this universe she’s created. Even with answers being more forthcoming it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of the rich mythology that Andolfo has created here. The art is absolutely stunning and each page is beautiful.

Our Score:


A Look Inside