I haven’t read the previous issues in the first volume of the graphic novel adaptation of the Mercy Thompson series by urban fantasy mainstay Patricia Briggs, but I’m familiar with the actual books that the comics are based on. The artwork is well done, and fans of the books will be pleased with the depictions of the central characters, which largely match their descriptions as set out by Briggs.
The storyline involves a high risk werewolf mission that Mercy is caught in the middle of. She’s as tough as ever, and because of Briggs’ direct involvement with the storyline, it’s true to her books and the plotline therein. And although Briggs’ writing has never suffered from slow pacing in the novels, the same immediacy is conveyed in the graphic novel, but better. Mercy has to rescue a girl named Jesse and her dad, but their captors are intense and very dangerous, which makes their escape difficult.
Although freeing Jesse is easy, her father is a different matter entirely, mainly because Mercy’s weapon responds differently to the enchantment on his chains. As she’s cutting the chains, it gives her time to sort of why Gerry, the primary antagonist, is going after people the way he has, and the politics of the werewolf clan involved.
Help comes in the form of a guy wearing a t-shirt that says “Dragons killed the Dinosaurs,” which gives him a memorable introduction and helps establish that he’s here to aid Mercy.
The action is pulse-pounding and riveting as the werewolves come out to play and give Mercy a run for her money. The violence is pretty intense, which is fitting, as the panels don’t shy away from the brutality of werewolf fights, as well.
Wolves are definitely not the only supernatural baddies involved in this — there are also vampires and witches, which start to come in near the end and give Mercy more challenges. One woman in particular practices the darkest most dangerous magic, not wolf or fae magic, which makes her a very real threat to Mercy and those she’s trying to protect.
A romantic subplot between Mercy and the werewolf she rescues, Adam, is present, albeit more toward the end, and will be continued in the issues to come, but it ends things off on a positive note, especially after all the calamities that happened in this issue. Fans of the books will definitely enjoy the graphic novel adaptation, but may want to wait for it to be collected into a single trade paperback volume, which is my personal preference.