Devil’s Due/1First Comics’ Mercy Sparx #11 hits the shelves this week, and all of the powers of heaven are running around like chickens with their heads cut off as Mercy’s mother, Faustia, advances to Phase 2 of her devilish plan. This marks another solid book from writer Josh Blaylock and artists Matt Merhoff, Greg Petre and Fake Petre. 11 issues deep now, and this team continues build some great momentum.
Josh kicks things off with a great couple pages of anxiety-ridden Mercy. He gradually escalates a sense of emergency, building for something big. Finally Mercy makes a decision, but is soon forced to lay down her bike. But just as things start to heat up, Josh drops the ball in an overly long exposition from Archangel Michael.
I am not saying that exposition is the worst thing in the world, but all too often good stories are bogged down by turgid narration from some character. This is easily resolved by some pride-killing scene cuts, and honestly it should have been noticed by the editor. Outside of this, and a few out-of-place quips, Josh did a great job. As soon as he digs into the antics of Faustia, and returns to where he left Mercy, the rest of the issue fell back on track and ended very well.
Now, back on the scenes in heaven with Archangel Michael. Even though I mentioned that the writing could have better, the art for these sequences was fantastic. Whether intentional or not, Matt’s linework in these panels reminded me of early Silvestri. And more generally, throughout this issue Matt paid great attention to detail. His amazingly fluid transitions from panel to panel and very crisp lines made for a pleasant reading experience.
In addition to this, Greg and Fake helped with this a great deal. I always enjoy when a colorist does not crank the saturation to 100 for every single panel. In this issue they really toned things down, only using the highly saturated yellows sparingly. Gives a nice feel of a calm before the storm. I really hope this is continued for the rest of the series.
My verdict is that Mercy Sparx #11 is a really fun book. Even with the few pages that lose your attention, I definitely suggest this book if you are into works like Wicked + Divine. Or if you are a fan of the movie Dogma. 3.5 out of 5.