Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 25, 2020

Writer: Mirka Andolfo
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Colours: Mirka Andolfo
Colour Assistants: Ginluca Papi & Chiara Di Francia
Letters: Fabio Amelia

We’ve now reached the penultimate issue in this dark, gothic fairytale that Mirka Andolfo has been weaving for us. And what a tale it’s been, masterfully told throughout, where she's focused on telling the story and never dumbing the story down for readers. It’s one of those rare stories where Andolfo tells the story she wants to tell, trusting that the reader will be able to follow along until all the pieces fall into place. And here, with only one issue to go, most of the pieces are in place. The more secrets which are revealed to the reader the more tragic the story gets. The previous issue revealed so much, the origin of these creatures, their obsession with the mine, the hunters. Then there was the tragic moment near the end when Lady Hellaine devoured Jon, a twist that was guaranteed to shock readers.

Despite the fact that Lady Hellaine is a monster, and has done some monstrous things, thanks to Andolfo’s writing the reader can’t help but empathise with her. As the previous issue revealed, these creatures, whatever they are, don’t feel emotions the same way people do. It’s a new experience for them, but as they merge with people their hosts feelings and emotions begin to bleed through to the parasite inhabiting their body. It changes them, makes them something more human than they were before, but rather than giving them a chance to understand these new feelings circumstances keep conspiring to put them into ever more challenging predicaments. Then, when forced between a rock and a hard place, it feels like Lady Hellaine keeps making bad decisions. There is a clear desire to do the right thing but fate has other plans for her. But her actions don’t leave her without guilt or suffering, and it’s this which makes the reader sympathise with her.

The storytelling throughout the entire series has been special. With Mirka Andolfo being responsible for writing, drawing, and colouring the entire comic it’s meant she’s been able to tell the exact story she wants. There is no script, open to interpretation from her collaboraters here, rather it’s exactly the vision she had for the series. And it shows. It works so well, so masterfully, this series will stand the test of time as a unique, Victorian fairy tale. And that’s fairy tale in the more classic sense, more horror than kids fare. Andolfo has made a name for herself through her art, but as this comic shows her writing is equally on par. We can only hope that this is an origin story for Lady Hellaine and her adventures continue past next issues conclusion.

The art has been incredible throughout the series. Each panel shows the love that Andolfo has poured into it, her love for the project shines through. The horrific creatures in particular stand out for what a wonderful creation they are. There is an incredibly unique, organic alien feel to them. They stand out for being something truly different. It’s the emotions on the characters faces that help to raise the stakes in this issue though, as all the pieces fall into place we can see the tension on everyones faces, and it helps draw the reader deep into the narrative.

A uniquely dark and otherworldly fairytale, each issue gets better and better, and expectations are incredibly high for the conclusion to this series. Readers will be in awe of Mirka Andolfo’s storytelling capabilities, watching her bring her story to life through the brilliant and vivid art.

Our Score:


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