Mirka Andolfo’s MERCY #4, available today from Image Comics, dives into a dark world full of monstrous creatures and the humans they feast upon. This is not a series for the weak of heart — or stomach.
Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #4 continues the tale of the Woodsburgh Devil and the poor town stuck dealing with it. Lady Hellaine has entered this town with a plan, yet nothing has gone according to it. How much longer can the charade hold up?
With this issue, we’re officially past the series’ halfway mark. There are only two issues left with which to wrap up this tale of blood, treachery, and vengeance. While some points have become clearer with time, there are still many answers left to be provided.
This fourth issue in this series is arguably the most graphic thus far, thanks to the imagery as well as everything that is implied. Consider yourself warned.
Mercy #4 is a hard pill to swallow. There’s so much going on, and very little time provided for readers to fully process what they just experienced. In that sense, there’s a certain bond being formed with the characters themselves.
Mirka Andolfo has created a dark and foreboding world. Never once did she promise readers a happy ending. Yet she has still successfully surprised us at every turn, both with the good and with the bad.
Previously, the more graphic scenes were exactly that — graphic — with not much of an emotional tie to bring them home. That is no longer the case here, with heavy implications being found left and right. The writing and the artwork have fully merged, and it’s going to leave a mark.
Credit to Andolfo for being confident enough to write something so deeply unsettling. This is not a series you can casually read and walk away from. It demands an emotional toll. It has from the start, but even so it was hard to prepare for the events of this issue.
The exploration of memories and humanity was beautifully done, even if it was intentionally harsh at points. If anything, that merely helped increase the impact of the story being told.
Andolfo is also the leading artist for this series, including Mercy #4. Yet she did not work alone for this issue. Gianluca Papi and Francesca Carotenuto were the color assistants brought on board, while Arancia Studio did the translations, and Fabio Amelia provided the lettering.
The artwork within these pages is incredibly haunting, and obviously quite graphic at times. That isn’t a bad thing, naturally. It’s perfectly suited for the story, which leans towards the darker edges of humanity (and the monsters that attracts).
Lady Hellaine has always been the most notable character, bouncing back and forth between extreme beauty and something truly horrifying. It felt like those latter traits were amplified in this issue, bringing a visual representation of her struggle to the forefront.
Mercy #4 is not an issue for young readers. Then again, that should have been painfully obvious several issues ago. Now it’s seeking to tear into the emotions of the readers, all while continuing this almost tragic journey of Lady Hellaine’s.