I’ve been keeping track of the Mercy Thompson comics since I first encountered “Homecoming” back in 2008. The artwork by Francis Tsai sold me on that issue and kept me dialed in to the character. Since then, however, it’s been a tough go for Mercy Thompson and crew, at least as far as comics are concerned. That “Homecoming” series was plagued by delays and then the license somehow migrated to Dynamite. Dynamite put out a single-issue story a little while back that underwhelmed me, but they came back quickly with another offering.
This series is an adaptation of the first of the Mercy Thompson novels by Patricia Briggs, and it does a decent job of introducing a number of the characters and concepts surrounding Briggs’ leading lady. Lawrence fleshes out the scenes from Briggs’ story, choosing to use dialog boxes for scene transitions and allowing the reader to peek into Mercy’s thoughts. The story is heavily narrated through the copious caption boxes floating all over this issue.
The art on this issue doesn’t help sell the story to me. Woo exhibits a decent understanding of storytelling and camera angles, but much of her art seems over-colored and under-drawn. Watercolor backgrounds are good for the occasional mood-setting shot, but they are no replacement for fine detail and establishing environments. Woo puts an undue amount of emphasis on the shades and hues of things, but neglects to give all of the figures and backgrounds significant structure. The basics are there, and Woo has great potential, but the drawing, not the coloring, should be the key to the visuals.
I’m happy that Mercy Thompson is back. She’s a nice, strong character that has a great deal of potential. This is a nice book for tweens who may be looking for an entry into comics from the world of “Twilight,” and Mercy’s bravery is sure to keep some readers around should they take the plunge and check out an issue.
I don’t know a great deal about the publishing plan Dynamite has for the character, but this is a pretty good start. Once the art steps up, Mercy Thompson is bound to be another strong license under the Dynamite umbrella.