Review – The Mercenary Sea #3 (Image Comics)

mercenarysea_3Publisher: Image Comics
Kel Symons
Matthew Reynolds
Release Date:
16th April 2014

It’s tough cracking out quality month-on-month. Particularly when your title is a newcomer in a field dominated by old-timey veteran titles, it can be a little tricky, and even more daunting, to have your wee – but no less awesome – flag be spotted by everyone. Sort of like – oh I don’t know – a periscope on a submarine, when your opponents have a Giant Battleship with Depth Charges™. How apt!

But seriously, once you’ve found the periscope, and subsequently the main body of the submersible, you’ll find that this is a terrific series that’s continuing to flourish – it’s the fact that Symons’ writing flows so effortlessly, and melds seamlessly with Reynolds’ still absolutely wonderful art, making dialogue sound natural and energetic when you read it out in your head, the sly grins and raised eyebrows giving it tone, form and structure.

And with this issue, the story has finally pushed it over into ‘must buy’ territory. Picking up hot on the trail of Top Hat – a British infiltrator who’s recovered some valuable intel about the Japanese, and is in need of recovery himself. A nemesis, of whom we caught a glimpse in the last issue, is fully introduced, and causes our heroes no end of problems. Then there’s a moon-lit spy caper to round things off – Reynolds penchant for silhouette giving it a terrifically clandestine feel. There’s also a promise of something vaguely supernatural to be explored in future issues – ostensibly in the Scooby-Doo sense, rather than actually being from the spirit world, though it could go either way, and both would be precisely as interesting as the other.

It’s just great, to be honest – the characters are likeably gruff, the action cracks along at a terrific place, and the plot’s thickening magnificently. Then there’s that dialogue – it’s just magic, it really is. Get this on your pull list – there’s just so much promise going forward.

Rating: 5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney

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