Review: Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson Hopcross Jilly #4

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Mercy04-Cov-A-GarciaKayla, popular girl and #1 tormentor of Mercy’s step-daughter Jesse, appears to have gone missing. No calls, no texts and her car left vacant in the school parking lot. Where could she be? No matter what the scenario it’s looking bad for Jesse. The student body and faculty already watch her closely. With Kayla’s disappearance, she’s exposed in the worse way imaginable – harder when you’re just trying to be a normal teenaged girl. A visit from the principal and a police interrogation do nothing to soften the blow.

All the while new girl Jill seems desperate for Jesse’s attention. However, something isn’t sitting right for Jesse. Encouraged by Mercy to follow her intuition Jesse breaks off their friendship. Unbeknownst to Jesse their “breakup” has done more than end a new friendship. There may be retribution by more than one of her peers before the end.

Writers Patricia Briggs and Rik Hoskin have used issue 4 to make a slight jump in speed of story development. It’s also shifted focus from Mercy Thompson onto her step-daughter, Jesse. While this should have been anticipated by most readers it was appreciated to create a deeper understanding of the smaller players of Mercy Thomson’s already rich canon. The interior monologue and art build a true feeling of isolation for Jesse as she becomes more obvious as an outcast even on what would have previously been her worst days.

Despite being two thirds of the way through of a six issue run it feels like the characters are just boiling to the surface waiting to make their big move. All of these seemingly minor actions have culminated into something just past the reader’s sight – much like the rising action of traditional novels. It’s exciting to have a consistent level of results in a comic as it only heightens reader’s anticipation for the next issue. There’s excitement where often you can find only a dull curiosity due to a poor story stupor of confusion. Additional love is given for their reference to poem “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer.

Issue #4 of the six issue run is available Wednesday January 14th 2015 from Dynamite.

 

 

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