Anna Mercury is a series published by BleedingCool’s parent company Avatar Press. Which is how I was able to get into the company’s server and grab a look at the issue shipping next week.
Anna Mercury has got one of those Doctor Who ideas, basically a high concept that means you can tell all sorts of stories. Apparently our own Earth is orbited by other Earth-influenced meta-worlds sliding through the dimensions. And Anna Mercury, with a NASA-style back up station on Earth, is exploring them. With the ability to patch in different abilities as she goes. All very Matrixy, without the hideous surface-level philosophy, and more about altruistic excitement.
The first volume saw Anna explore a world that had been damaged by own own Earth’s incursion, and help prevent war. Responsible actions that justify lots of kicks and explosions.
This second series starts off in a similar fashion, but instantly something is wrong. The cocky always-right Anna Mercury is taken down almost instantly swearing as she goes, and the rest of the story explains how this came to happen, and how it’s our Earth that has had the incursion.
Cue a Blade Runner-ish chase, Anglocentric swearing and a sense of real danger. The speed of the book makes it feel brief. There are big panels, reduced dialogue and much of it all goes by in an instant leaving you wondering what’s next. Then you realise that the speed you were forced through the book made you skim the art rather than drink it in, and there’s a lot to revisit and details to enjoy that you missed in this fully realised alternate world.
By splitting the action in half, in a non linear fashion, it creates a sandwich of action that contrasts well with the scenes at home base, especially a tender, personal moment as Anna prepares for the disasterous mission that awaits her.
It’s big, it’s bold and it’s brash but it also has the depth and background and even occasional tenderness of the likes of Planetary. Oh and kick ass hair. This is important.
Anna Mercury Vol 2 #1 by Warren Ellis and Facundo Percio, published by Avatar Press, available in comic shops from June 10th. Copies can be ordered through retailers using the APR090683 Diamond Distribuition code.