As I missed the 5th issue of the 6 part series I’ve decided to combine the review of the two together as a farewell to the comic mini-series of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson:Hopcross Jilly. We last left our main characters face to face with the police as suspicions of their involvement of the disappearances of Jesse’s classmates hit a crescendo within the community. Hopcross Jilly #5, which released February 18th 2015, shows the fruitless search as Mercy and her family know who’s to blame – Hopcross Jilly. With the violation of the police search fresh Mercy decides to search out Zee, a fae metal worker, looking for more on Jilly.
Meanwhile, Jesse is contacted by Jill who claims that she’s alone and scared because of the recent disappearances and begs her to be with her despite their recent falling out. Hopcross Jilly #6 picks up with Jesse at Jill’s house being prepared for death. Mercy, having returned from Zees, follows quickly behind Jesse hoping to save her in time.
These two issues felt either incomplete or being overstretched – as if there was too much or not enough storyline to provide in the final installments. A common theme within the series has been flashbacks to Hopcross Jilly’s original reign identifying the bones originally found to start our story. Its use in issue #6 felt unnecessary as it provided very little in story progression, but only a parallel to Jilly’s process in her consumption of humans.
Issue #5 focused too much on the violation of their home search in addition to the sudden inclusion of character Zee. As I’ve stated before I’m unfamiliar with the original series, so I don’t know the overarching importance of Zee within the Mercy Briggs world. The police search having proven fruitless felt wasteful – what point is the violation if it only serves as a weak catalyst? It does very little to motivate the characters to progress the story. It has a very, “Well Duh” moment based on the evidence provided in earlier issues.
Overall, however, the series is strong due to its ability to pull from a rich history within the written world. Mercy’s step-daughter, Jesse, appears to have a much larger role within the Hopcross Jilly collection which may or may not lead to a spin off series in the future. Having no previous background, I still found the series is well written an enjoyable with a few exceptions in these final two issues. I believe that fans familiar with Mercy would have much more affection and understanding of the inclusion of Zee.
Writer Rik Hoskin and illustrator Tom Garcia are, as always, worth noting in their continued work on the series. Hoskin, who I believe cleans up Briggs stories to fit within the comic space, maintains his clean direction of the story. Garcia continues his solid work in both color and character fluidity within the panels.
Released by Dynamite, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson Hopcross Jilly #1-6, are available now. For both fans and new readers alike Hopcross Jilly is a solid introduction or companion to the Mercy Thompson series.