Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trade Waiting - Anna Mercury Vol 1, The Cutter

Although Warren Ellis is mostly known for his work on various Marvel and Wildstorm titles, he is also a prolific creator owned writer with his most famous work being Transmetropolitan. Recently, Ellis began doing his creator owned work at the smaller publisher Avatar and, being a big fan of Ellis, I've been picking up trades for some of the works he has does there. Apparat is an Avatar project as well as the webcomic FreakAngels, which currently has two volumes out for those who are not interested in digital comics. Today, I'm taking a look at his Anna Mercury, so hit the jump to find out what I thought.

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Facundo Percio
Collects Anna Mercury #1-5

Anna Mercury is one of the recent creator owned works by Warren Ellis from Avatar. Although it may look like a Lara Croft-esque book, it is actually a fantastic sci-fi story that has a lot to offer.

The core concept of Anna Mercury is a twist on the basic multiverse concept. Instead of having multiple universes linked together, there are nine small planetoids that orbit the Earth, called the Constellation. They are unaware of either the Earth or each other. However, various governments on Earth are aware of the Constellation and send agents to those worlds on a regular basis. So far, the only world of the Constellation that has been revealed is New Ataraxia, which is where most of Anna Mercury takes place.

The basic story of the The Cutter is that New Ataraxia is the home of two city states, Sheol and New Ataraxia, both of which are caught up in something of a cold war. New Ataraxia is a militaristic society that turned militarism into something of a religion after the warship USS Eldridge appeared there (a nice easter egg for those in the know), which was also the first contact with any of the worlds of the Constellation. They have tried to convert the citizens of Sheol to their ways, but they refused, having never seen the Eldridge, which lead to New Ataraxia trying to find a way to destroy Sheol. Mercury's job is to prevent that from happening and in the story she has to destroy the Cutter, an electromagnetic gun designed to destroy Sheol.

Anna Mercury, being a sci-fi book, lives or dies on the strength of its concepts and, being written by Ellis, it thrives. Ellis firmly establishes the ideas behind the book early on and uses them in some interesting ways, mostly with the way Mercury travels between worlds. The device that allows Mercury to travel between the various worlds also allows her to change the laws of physics in small spaces, temporary gain super strength and enhanced abilities as well as other, unique properites. Anna Mercury is not a hard science fiction book, so Ellis never gets bogged down by the details, but he still provides enough to make the concept believable within the logic of the story.

Ellis does a good job of world building with New Ataraxia. The visual look is kind of a mishmash of various styles and inspirations from the 1920s to the 1950s. The average everyday things, like cars or trains, look like they belong from those time periods while the future tech is inspired by the way people thought it would look like. It definitely has a retro motif going on with it, but it fits with the story. Anna Mercury doesn't look out of place either and Ellis has a nice little explanation about why she dresses the way she does.

Anna Mercury is more of an action style book than anything else. Ellis does a good job of balancing out the fast paced parts of the story with some down moments, but the story usually moves forward at a brisk pace. Since it is an action based story at its core, there isn't a lot of characterization, but the characters are generally well defined. They play to archetypes generally associated with these stories, so it's easy to get the basics of the characters in a short amount of time. Mercury, herself, is an interesting character, but that mostly has to do with the way she acts and operates than any kind of standout personality traits. There is not that much of a supporting cast, so those that do show up usually are not that well developed, with the lone exception being the director of the Constellation Project, which, again, is the organization that Mercury works for.

The art by Percio is very enjoyable. He does a great job rendering all of the various locals and tech that Ellis's script calls for. He also does a good job with the characters and his art doesn't have the problems that a lot of Marvel and DC artist do when depicting the human form. His faces and how he depicts emotions on them are something that stands out to me. His art has a nice visual flare at times that adds something extra when called for. Normally, I'm not big on artists (story first, art second for me), but Percio's work really does stand out from your average Marvel and DC artist and he does play a large part in my enjoyment of Anna Mercury. Overall, his style is very enjoyable and really adds something extra to Ellis's script.

Verdict - Must Read. Ellis and Percio craft an enjoyable action sci-fi tale that may not be the most unique book out there, but still excels at what it does and creates a wonderful experience.

Like this review? Interested in this book? Purchase Anna Mercury Vol 1: The Cutter from and help support The Weekly Crisis.

Related Posts


Nick Marino said...

i read this mini in single issues while it was coming out. i thought it was decent, though it didn't totally rock my socks off. however, i was beyond impressed with Ellis and Percio's ability to make the silent scenes extremely gripping. there was something about the pacing of the action scenes - my assumption: Ellis' strong ideas mixed with Percio's knack for catching just the right movement and moment in time - that really worked well.

Ryan Schrodt said...

I loved this miniseries so much when it came out. Glad to see you dug it, as well--just in time for Vol. 2 to launch in singles this month!

googum said...

Neat. I was trade waiting on this one, since Black Summer took forever. I better get to it!

oakleyses said...

kate spade, gucci handbags, nike free, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, nike air max, coach outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, true religion outlet, christian louboutin uk, longchamp outlet, coach outlet store online, nike outlet, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, polo outlet, nike air max, replica watches, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, prada outlet, coach outlet, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, nike air max, michael kors pas cher, guess pas cher, longchamp pas cher, air max, new balance, michael kors, vans pas cher, mulberry uk, hollister uk, ralph lauren uk, true religion jeans, nike roshe, hollister pas cher, burberry pas cher, nike air force, michael kors outlet, north face uk, hogan outlet, jordan pas cher, louboutin pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, polo ralph lauren, sac longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike free run, true religion outlet, north face, nike air max uk, lululemon canada, nike tn, nike blazer pas cher, nike free uk, nike air max uk, converse pas cher, ray ban pas cher, timberland pas cher, polo lacoste, oakley pas cher, ray ban uk, sac hermes

oakleyses said...

giuseppe zanotti outlet, hollister, lululemon, nike roshe run, longchamp uk, wedding dresses, timberland boots, jimmy choo outlet, north face outlet, iphone 6 cases, hermes belt, soccer jerseys, vans outlet, baseball bats, mcm handbags, celine handbags, nfl jerseys, p90x workout, babyliss, asics running shoes, herve leger, oakley, ghd hair, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, insanity workout, valentino shoes, soccer shoes, nike air max, nike trainers uk, reebok outlet, ferragamo shoes, instyler, north face outlet, nike roshe run uk, abercrombie and fitch, bottega veneta, beats by dre, mont blanc pens, nike huaraches

oakleyses said...

ugg boots, supra shoes, swarovski, pandora charms, montre pas cher, louboutin, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, converse outlet, pandora uk, converse, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, hollister, wedding dresses, ugg uk, thomas sabo, links of london, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, lancel, replica watches, swarovski crystal, gucci, coach outlet, ugg, ralph lauren, pandora jewelry, uggs outlet, nike air max, juicy couture outlet, ray ban, marc jacobs, uggs outlet, uggs on sale, vans, ugg boots, karen millen uk, hollister, toms shoes

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.