Richard Starkings and Abigail Jill Harding are back with Ask For Mercy Season Three on ComiXology Originals, delivering a tale of apocalyptic dark fantasy complete with tentacles, wolfmen, and what appears to be a cosmic infection. How does this monstrous pandemic comic work for readers who are new to Ask For Mercy?
Returning Ask For Mercy readers will probably enjoy this issue best, but there's a lot here to offer for first-time readers as well. It would be smartest to start at the very beginning of the series rather than Season Three, as a lot is going on, but the opening scene does a lot to catch new readers up. Once Starkings' story gets rolling, introducing Becky Gill as she runs from some particularly nasty monsters, all of the "previously on" of the beginning gives way to an extended chase scene and battle sequence. This world claimed by monsters, with humanity barely scraping by to survive, is an interesting one, and the focus characters here (Mercy and Becky) are engaging as they deal with the peril at hand in very different ways.
The art is truly a treat here, with Harding's thin lines and soft but vibrant colors, which glow as if they are radioactive, creating a unique feel. There's a touch of Sandman in the way that Mercy's tall, mysterious form sets an imposing presence, but Harding is unique in her style. Each panel could be the cover of a, particularly creepy sci-fi novel. Instead, they work together with Starkings' story to create a depiction of an apocalyptic world that feels like a beautiful punch to the gut.
New readers will feel a bit as if they've been pushed into the deep end of a pool by jumping on Ask For Mercy Season Three, which makes absolute sense considering that this is, after all, Season Three. It's right there in the title. Once the plot gets kicking, though, even the unfamiliar will find their footing and enjoy swimming through the murky, dangerous waters of Ask for Mercy.