No Mercy #6 zeroes in on three of our ten surviving characters. Chad, Charlene and Travis continue their tale of how badly things can go wrong when you travel abroad. The book continues to have its brutal moments but holds its fire in this issue.
It was an attempt to get a leg-up into Princeton. A group of students travel to Central America to help build schools. When their bus careens off a cliff, their group of fifteen begins quickly dwindling. Alone in a dangerous wasteland with no help coming, the kids begin wandering off searching for rescue.
The sharp teeth of this story are starting to dull a bit. As each different group makes it to safety, the reader begins to wonder when No Mercy plans to make good on its promise that no one gets away alive. With so many characters left, in so many different places, it seems strange to focus on only three. It can get a bit difficult following everyone’s story when there is so much going on. If something tremendously pivotal had happened, I could understand the attention but nothing that happens in this issue really translates to the bigger picture.
Charlene and Chad make it to town this issue only to discover their parents may not be too upset they’re gone. These siblings are the most interesting to watch because the intense vitriol between them. Actually, ever since Charlene’s failed attempt to kill Chad a few issues ago, the reader has been in quite a bit of suspense waiting to see what happens. If there were a pair to follow this issue, Alex de Campi chose well. While things continue to be brutal between the two, the issue ends a bit ambiguously. There’s no closure within their own turmoil nor even a clear way in which they have made good on their efforts to rescue the others. Consequently, the story seems to stop suddenly not as a cliffhanger but an interrupted thought.
Mitch, our fake-freegan frying in the… I have no “f” word for desert, is discovered by a few tourists and taken in by them. Not only does his subplot here not advance the story at all, it seems to raise more questions about what the ultimate outcome of the story will be. Not to sound blood-thirsty, but if all these kids aren’t dead when this is over, the second page of the first issue will seem well-crafted but misleading. Obviously, not every issue can be dripping with blood (even if the back of the book is made to suggest otherwise). However, issues that don’t drip blood need to further the story. The amount of time given to the tourists could have made even two pages to further someone else’s plight in the story and keep the tension riding high.
Though de Campi excels at writing brutal stories where no one is safe, this issue takes the steam of out of it a bit and seems to add a bit of punctuation to the title, No… Mercy. To be perfectly clear, while a review copy was provided to me, I still plan on buying my own. While every story must have a slower chapter, I look forward to having the complete collection because of Alex de Campi’s is one of the best writers when it comes gruesome tales and there is no doubt No Mercy will be worth owning.
Story: Alex de Campi Art: Carla Speed McNeil
Story: 6 Art: 6 Overall: 6
Recommendation: Read (if it’s your first issue, but buy it if you have the others)
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review