Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Ralph Tedesco
Penciled by Antonio Bifulco & Jacob Bear
Inked by Jacob Bear & Alex Rivera
Coloured by Erick Arciniega
Lettered by Fabio Amelia
Virgil survives the fall but is in critical condition. Frank tells Mercy she needs to talk to Lucifer and takes her to meet Lori, who has the means to get Mercy into the Inferno for a brief time. Mercy finally learns through Lucifer that she’s unwittingly woken a sleeping giant. If Raum’s full power is unleashed, it would mean the end of humanity. Mercy, in a race against time, must now find a way to stop one of the most powerful demons to ever walk the Earth.
I like this story that Ralph has brought us here. It expands Mercy’s cast of characters, gives us a nice look at what her life is like and presents multiple future arcs up. Plus it cements her place among the other characters in the Zenescope Universe with the continued appearance of Masumi. The characterisation has been really well done as we see she isn’t always the hard as nails woman she likes to project to others. Ralph’s added a nice amount of depth to her through this arc.
I’m less impressed with the interior artwork here I wish there was more attention to detail in the characters faces instead of what we see here. Don’t get me wrong there are moments that show great promise but it’s inconsistent. Backgrounds could be utilised better as well to really flesh out where they are and tell the larger story. By contrast a lot of attention went into Pandora, the box that is supposed to trap Raum in the Shadowlands as it almost looks like something out of Hellraiser. Also the creativity in Raum is much nicer than his generic demons so there’s kind of disconnect.
Overall however the story does a lot in expanding Mercy’s role in the world and those within her network. Mercy is different than most of the other characters in the Zenescope Universe as she isn’t a highborn and her roots are in the Inferno realm of hell itself. She’s a key part of the world however and seeing her adventures add a part of a different kind of darkness and mythology that’s incredibly fun to see.
That we get to see her in a different light here with more of those around her, cementing her in the universe as well as seeing her try to be a team player adds dimensions to her character that we haven’t seen before. This is the kind of character development that we like to see and Ralph does an excellent job in really keeping her evolution as a character and a strong willed woman on track in a smart way. It also gives us a look at what could and should be her next adventure.
With Masumi along for the ride here and presumably in the future I look forward to seeing other characters, namely Robyn Hood, guest starring in her further adventures as well. This arc continues to demonstrate that smart intelligent storytelling that the company has been moving in and it’s nice to see.