Writer: Alex De Campi
Arist: Carla Speed McNeil
No Mercy #2 left me confused. I feel conflicted and am unsure if I actually enjoyed the issue. The concept of Alex De Campi’s tale of survival is interesting enough, but so far there is just too much holding the series back.
The first issue of No Mercy introduced readers to a diverse group of teenagers who find themselves in a horrible situation during a humanitarian trip to Central America. Now the group is left mostly broken as they try to survive until morning with the threat of coyotes looming around the corner.
De Campi did a lot of things right here and certainly improved on some areas that could use some work. For one, about half of the characters were further developed and started to stand out from the rest. While this is expected from a second issue, this is still something that deserves some credit since no character really seemed too unique in the first issue. This issue was also much more entertaining since most of the character introductions are out of the way. The idea of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with predators around you and no way to contact the outside world is certainly scary, and De Campi succeeds in making the scenario as intense as it should be. The climax of the issue is brutal, and may make readers cringe a bit as even more horrors confront the young group.
While some characters are starting to stand out, it’s still hard to actually relate or even care about most of them. It’s clear which characters were introduced to the story for the purpose of being killed off early, and it’s unfortunate that one of the more interesting characters from the first issue is already gone. Also, while these characters are still young, it’s difficult to understand some of the actions of a few of them. Sure, everyone responds to stress differently, but some of the things these kids do will just enrage some readers.
Unfortunately, while Carla Speed McNeil’s art is expressive and very well done, it doesn’t seem to fit with the tone of the story at all. This issue is full of tension and a bloody ending but the style of art seems to take away from the terrible gut feeling that the reader should be enduring. It’s just too bright and too fun at times. Otherwise the art throughout is clean and doesn’t have too many flaws.
It’s hard to like or dislike No Mercy #2. There is a lot of good stuff in this issue but there is also a lot that takes away from the experience, mostly due to the tone of the story clashing with the art. It’s still worth checking out, but this issue isn’t exactly as remarkable as the first one.