Death and destruction rain down upon Lady Swanson and Lady Hellaine. Who will survive and who will get what they want? Find out in the exciting conclusion to Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy from Image Comics!

MIRKA ANDOLFO’S MERCY #6

Writer: Mirka Andolfo
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Letterer: Fabio Amelia
Editor: Diego Malara
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 29, 2020

Previously in Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy: We discovered that the Swansons were involved in secret experiments with the aliens down in the mines. A pregnant woman is one of the subjects – perhaps Rory’s mother? In the present day, Hellaine feeds on Jonathan, killing him. The hunters, meeting with Gloria, tell her that Nollwen Hellaine is one of the aliens. Goodwill has plans to buy the mine, and he is frustrated with Rory’s effect on Hellaine, which disrupts those plans. Nollwen spends the night with Gregor, and he insists on marrying her, much to Gloria’s despair. They wake up a priest, and Goodwill arrives, not to break them up but bringing the news that he thinks he will be able open the way back home again.

CHOOSING WHAT TO BELIEVE IN

Mirka Adolfo’s Mercy #6 closes out the story and wraps up a lot of loose ends. It can get complicated, but it keeps up the excitement throughout. The challenge is that the aliens not only can take over multiple bodies, but some of them pick up memories from their hosts. Where they leave off those hosts begin is a well-blurred line. A theme of this story has to do with this sense of self, and of what being human might mean.

The carriage is attacked by the Devil of Woodsborough herself, the voice/alien who helped Hellaine, who may be inhabiting the body of Jon’s sister Betsy. She loved Jonathan; Hellaine killed him, and she intends to get her revenge by killing Gregor and Rory. Gloria beseeches Hellaine to help save Gregor, and she attacks, rescuing him and letting the Devil fall off a cliff into the frozen waters below.

A year passes. Hellaine still hears the voice inside her head. When she feeds, she remembers the things she has done and feels remorse – an odd feeling for the aliens. Goodwill comes in on her apparent monologue. He has been here on Earth for decades, and he has apparently learned to drift through life unaffected by the memories. Rory is starting to doubt the existence of God, but she is absolutely certain the Nollwen Hellaine is her mother. And Gregor is still alive!

Nolllwen and Gloria have apparently made an arrangement involving the mine. Nollwen brings Gregor home, and Gloria will give them passage through to their portal and close it after she and Goodwill go through. The last favor Nollwen begs is for Gloria to take care of Rory for her. When Nollwen first possessed the body she has now, it was pregnant and the baby did not survive, thus tying back into the experiments the Swansons were doing.

And then Goodwill arrives. In short order he kills several people, poisoning Gloria just long enough so she could see her sons die. He apparently does not want the portal to be closed and, to top things off, he has taken Rory with him. Goodwill carves out a swath of death and destruction at the mine, and by the time Nollwen gets there, he has also possessed Rory. He thought Nollwen was planning to get rid of him, and it turns out that he has gotten attached to life on Earth. There is another battle, and Nollwen pulls Rory free and tosses her out as the mine collapses.

FROM DEATH TO LIGHT

Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #6 has a wonderful flow between hope and despair and back again. Forgive me if I have lost track of who is whom. The aliens, when they are angered and revert in part to their natural form and challenging to identify. The Devil herself becomes a deformed idea of a human woman with long, sharp teeth and a multitude of what looks like eyes. The contrast every one of them has from controlled human body to monstrosity is breath-taking and horrifying. I think it is this contrast in part that makes us feel how otherworldly they are.

I like the underlying desires we discover in the aliens. They have seemed all along to be striving to get back home, but beneath it all, there is a thread of fascination with human life, with their emotions and their complications. I like that as the story has progressed, we have seen how monstrous some of the humans can be, and how a little touch of humanity can affect the aliens and make them want to act in unpredictable ways. The calm moments, such as when we see that Nollwen has made peace the Gloria, are so full of hope, like a first few tentative acts of diplomacy.

BOTTOM LINE: A POWERFUL TALE OF WOMANHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD

Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #6 is a strong ending to the story. I think every major character has a significant arc that profoundly changes them. The art effortlessly flows from horrifying to beautiful and back in a way that supports the plot. It’s a stunning book.


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Mercy #6

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A Powerful Tale

Can Gloria and Nollwen make peace long enough for the aliens to finally return home?

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By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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