Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2021
Written by John Zuur Platten
Illustrated by Atilio Rojo
Lettered by Troy Peteri
When a desperate outlaw discovers Mercy's secret, he leaves her for dead and seeks the support of his former band of thieves to steal the cache of cursed Incan gold. But things begin to spin out of control when the gang and their leader, Frank, pay a visit to Mercy and her father, Neto, intent on taking the gold for themselves. Little do they know, there’s an ancient fire that they are about to ignite.
With each issue I am getting into this more and more. I found or find myself getting so engaged in this that I have even begun to think about why and how this gang is able to exist in this time period. It is just written so well that you cannot help but think beyond what we find on the page and think about life and circumstances from back then. If a story can do this to you then you know it’s incredibly well written. Plus there’s the backstory featuring the Mexican, or Incan/Mayan, culture that adds a whole slew of other ideas and possibilities of what we see and their beliefs really makes this so gosh darn intriguing.
I am completely into the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in bringing their personalities to the forefront. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story we are left wanting so much more.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is magnificently rendered. The avenues that open up thanks to these layers may or may not be explored more fully but they all add this delicious depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.
The interiors here are absolutely bloody gorgeous. The linework is exquisitely rendered and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail within the work really brings this to life exceptionally well. How we see backgrounds utilised to enhance and expand the moments as well as work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is utterly mavellous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a brilliant eye for how colour works. The way the visuals come to life and how the colour is able to age wood or use lightning and rain to change how we see the scene are done so bloody brilliantly and it just grabs you and nearly hypnotises the reader.
Secrets galore in this book and we’re starting to see and learn more of what these are and that we aren’t getting this quickly but at a naturally slow pace is how you build and keep intrigue at such a high place. Also the Sheriff is a badass just going to put this out there. This is beyond expectations and it just engulfs the reader and transports you to a time and place where the world was so different and incomprehensible to the one we know today. It is brilliantly written and the characterisation is exceptionally done and these bloody gorgeous interiors just complete this entirely.