Monday, March 26, 2012

Anna Mercury TPB

Warren Ellis has accomplished the impossible. He always succeeds in his world-building and high concepts. Anna Mercury has both with a strange world where magnetism is the main source of technology and the world is a flat shelf of crust and water. It’s not an alternate universe, Ellis has too many neat ties to Earth for that to be the case.

But we know Ellis can do that. Where my disconnect usually hits is the characters. I usually love the high concept, but can’t stand the smart-asses that typically populate Ellis’ worlds. Anna Mercury is different. She’s fun, dedicated, and actually pretty normal at her core. She’s a modern Batman in dominatrix leather. It’s really neat seeing her transformation into her “real” self when Ellis starts giving us those glimpses.

The weakest aspect of this collection is the lack of a real antagonist. It’s hard to have a whole nation as an inspiring villain, and while I can respect Mercury’s goals, her obstacles are never really more than targets for her to blow apart with her massive pistols. I suppose a lot of the drama and tension build from the technological barriers Mercury has to overcome, but again, there is no substitute for a villain.

Facundo Percio’s art is interesting, but his faces tend to be a bit lumpy. I also noticed he skimped on the details of bystanders and soldiers, making those generic targets seem even less like actual obstacles for Mercury. I do like the alternate covers in the collection that show other artists’ takes on the visually unique Mercury.

Are there more stories featuring this character? I’m certainly up for reading more.


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