ART: If you're not familiar with Carla Speed McNeil's work, NO MERCY is the perfect introduction. Her cartooning is top notch, and she draws the kind of pages and panels that demand you slow down, zoom in, and really, really pay attention to what she's doing. And what's she doing here? Masterful work, is one way to describe it. Together, de Campi and McNeil, along with colorist Jenn Manley Lee, breathe life into the characters shortly before ushering them into exceedingly traumatizing situations.
TRAUMA: Look at the title. NO MERCY. Now look at the cast: a crew of newly graduated teens, on their way to experience something new. They're a motley crew of innocents, jerks, nerds, and brats. Look back at the title. Look back at the cast. How well do you think things are going to go for them? A better question: how well do you think things are going to go for them after their bus careens off a cliff?
JOKES: Senseless slaughter is just that, and de Campi and McNeil are entirely too good at their jobs to leave us with just a pile of featureless bodies with no personality. NO MERCY can be cruel, but it is funny, too. The jokes, whether they're a result of dramatic irony from the creative team or spilling out of the mouths of the characters, make the cast one that's easy to relate to. Some characters find solace in anime like Tsutomu Nihei's Knights of Sidonia, others enjoy music, and others just enjoy screwing with people. Come for the trauma and stay for the drama.
NO MERCY, VOL. 1 is on sale as of today for $9.99. NO MERCY #5 arrives 12/5.