Writer: Alex De Campi
Arist: Carla Speed McNeil
The kids of No Mercy are facing the most terrifying ordeal of their lives as they fight to stay alive. Stories that focus on people surviving nature’s wrath usually makes for interesting stories, but so far, each issue has been hit or miss. No Mercy #3 is full of action, but suffers from poor pacing and execution.
Following Travis’ questionable decisions in issue 2, the group is trapped and forced to fight off the pack of coyotes that’s been stalking them since the series debut. There has already been a surprisingly heavy loss of life, and the toll continues to rise in this issue. Unfortunately, this issue fails to make these dire circumstances actually feel harrowing. The issue progresses at a rocky pace, with some scenes getting too much attention and dragging along while others move by too fast. By the time the encounter with the coyotes was over, I felt underwhelmed at the events that had been building up.
There was also a bit of character development present as well. Some characters are proving to be bigger jerks than originally thought, while others are showing leadership by stepping up during the crisis. Unfortunately some character interactions feel forced. The dynamic between the siblings feels especially weak, and is the lowest point of this issue. However, the scene between Tiffani and her poor friend Lily does well at evoking emotion from the reader. Sister Ines is also an interesting character, serving as the voice of reason for this group.
No Mercy still feels like it is suffering from an identity crisis, and has failed to find a consistent tone. This issue doesn’t do much to alleviate the problem, and a large part of this is the art style of the title. Carla Speed McNeill’s art isn’t at all poor, but it clashes with the writing. During moments with humor, her panels are exceptional and fun to look at. Unfortunately there hasn’t been a lot of fun lately, and the animated style simply doesn’t feel like the best choice for this title. Still, the art does well at conveying action and helps to the story move along. The characters are also expressive and appear to be full of heart as well. Now that the book is moving back into a setting with daylight, it should be interesting to see how her art looks from here.