I wasn’t sure how Mercy Thompson would translate to the comics page. I like her voice on the book pages, the way she thinks and the way she sees her world. I didn’t know if I was ready to have that world I’d already interpreted for myself rendered in colorful pages that would still be limited compared to what I can do for myself.
I was also concerned how it would be to read a story I was already familiar with when the Mercy Thompson stories are organic in the books and keep marching forward. I was a little relieved to discover this volume would concern itself more with how Mercy arrived at her little corner of the supernatural world that fans have come to be so familiar with and love. Subsequent volumes are going to retell the novels, and I’ll be interested in seeing how well that goes over with stories I’m already acquainted with.
In some ways reading this graphic novel was like watching a rerun. I knew most of the story but there were some action bits and character bits thrown in that weren’t relayed in the first Mercy novel. I liked the chase sequences, especially the one in the beginning where the werewolves have Mercy cornered while she’s in coyote form and are about to bring her down. Those sequences were well rendered by the artist (Francis Tsai), and enjoyed watching the change from coyote to human, though the “shift” was really fast.
One of the later “shifts” really strains credulity, though, because it shows Mercy getting chased in coyote form and managing to change into a human before a werewolf can run her down at full speed. And manage to snatch up a revolver and start blasting away. (There is a problem with that scene too that involves technical accuracy. The dialogue calls for a .38, a revolver, but the panel shows a semi-automatic.)
In places, though, the artwork feels too cartoonish. The images just don’t square up. I loved the color though.
The story sets up everything that takes place in the first Mercy novel but doesn’t really introduce anything for long-time readers. All the characters and pieces are there, and we get to see stories acted out that we only heard about before, so that’s kind of nice. Readers new to the series will probably find a lot in this urban fantasy world to enjoy (although it takes place outside the city), and I encourage them to hurry on down to the bookstore and pick up the novels.