MIRKA ANDOLFO’S MERCY #5, available Wednesday from Image Comics, continues the dark tale of one small town, and the monsters that have come to feast upon it. There is a saying; you reap what you sow. It makes one wonder what this town has sown.
The Woodsburgh Devil appears to be far from done in Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #5. Her quest is an odd one, feeling at times like a personal vendetta. At other times, it almost feels like the Lady Hellaine wants nothing to do with this town or the vengeance she could wreak upon it.
Mercy has never been a series to shy away from the dark, or the graphic for that nature. It has always portrayed this strange combination of beauty and horror, of elegance and gore. That element continues in the latest issue, but the implications feel darker than ever.
A word to the wise, where the previous four issues were not for the weak of heart, or those that dislike gory scenes, this one is so much worse. Not because of the gore (the previous issue was worse on that count), but because of the graphic implications of another variety. For those that cannot handle the idea of harm coming to a pregnant woman, now would be a good time to look away.
Mirka Andolfo has created a whirlwind of events in Mercy #5. It is an issue designed to intrigue the mind, as well as to horrifying the soul. The series has been hinting to events leading up to this point, but now it is all out in the open.
It’s so much darker than those hints could ever have implied. Suddenly, the need for the Woodsburgh Devil makes sense as does Lady Hellaine’s quest – and her resistance. There are still many questions that need to be answered, but there’s still one more issue to go.
There are a lot of things this issue does wonderfully. The constant comparisons between the past and the present. The slow revelation of what is going on – and who caused all of this pain and bloodshed to begin with.
In a way, it’s almost cathartic to see it all unfold so. Then again, there have been plenty of innocent victims along the way, so maybe that isn’t the case. One thing is clear; the end of this issue is setting up for the biggest confrontation yet, which makes sense, given that the next issue should wrap up the series.
As with the rest of this series, the artwork inside Mercy #5 is blindingly beautiful, even while displaying some startling grotesque scenes. Those are two descriptors that don’t belong in the same sentence, except to explain this series.
Mirka Andolfo is the lead artist for this issue as well, working alongside color assistants Gianluca Papi and Chiara Di Francia in order to bring it all together. Meanwhile, Arancia Studio provided the translations, and Fabio Amelia the lettering.
The end result is something unforgettable. The opening scene in this issue is designed to disturb – and it succeeds in ways beyond imagination. It’s a different type of horror than the rest of the series has portrayed, proving that there’s still plenty of shocks to be found in this tale.
The clashing of elegance and horror has always seemed to find a balance in this series, a fact that continues to be true in this issue as well. It’s almost disturbing how well it is done.
Mercy #5 is arguably the most disturbing issue of the series, confirming the truth of the previous issue while throwing in its own set of horrors—all while setting up for the final confrontation, and issue. Mercy #6 is sure to be the most alarming and darkest of the set.