Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Mercenary Sea #1
Symons & Reynolds
A comic book set in the very beginnings of World War II, in the south pacific, with a cast of characters from various backgrounds and nationalities, all on the run from something, on a submarine pulling jobs is the high level concept for the book. It sounds interesting. The opening issue provides some great moments but doesn’t quite rise above the “interesting” level. I think this is worth checking out but it might take a couple of issues before the book gets some steam to it.
The book attempts to spend most of its time introducing and giving the cast on the submarine some personality. This works to some degree for the Captain and the ex-German Captain, but it’s very touch and go with the rest of the cast. Coming out of this issue I still don’t know how many characters are on the boat. It just seems like the scenes changed and the character focus shifted to look at different characters with little continuity for the scope of the overall cast.
The comic book is clearly of the Indiana Jones variety in terms of adventure and chasing some sort of object. What isn’t clear in this issue is what they will be after for this initial arc. The first issue doesn’t really dive into that at all.
The book has some high points, particularly with the Captain. The comic conveys a level of charisma in the main character and it works well. Characters gravitate to him and it is apparent to the reader as well. This helps to ground the book on a constant entity.
Reynolds is on pencils and colors and he follows a similar style as Fiona Staples work in Saga. The pages have that look as if they are motion animation but frozen. This provides a very clean look and one that appears light on detail but simply has thinner line work. The book looks fantastic and has an extra step of depth to it that most comics don’t seem to tackle. The comic is definitely enhanced by the artwork and visual storytelling here.
The premise and artwork are fantastic, but the plot and character work aren’t fully baked in this issue. The ingredients are certainly all there for this to be a smash hit. A little more clarity around the full cast on the ship and some more character definition and I think the book will be closer. The plot will unfold so that will be there. There’s a lot here to like it just doesn’t quite connect all the way in this comic. This is worth checking out.
3.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles