What really saves this issue is the last act of the story. It’s a solid conclusion to the first arc as it ties everything together that we’ve read so far, but it shares some pacing similarities to the last issue which aren’t the strongest of the series. It’s not unbearable or anything crazy like that; it’s just becoming somewhat formulaic in its execution. In the last issue we saw our rescue team captured by the Japanese that they tangled with previously. Now aboard the ship they must think of a way out with the Venture in tow behind them. Jack of course thinks of something and the day looks all but won. I can’t go on because the ending is the good stuff, but as you can imagine they get away because otherwise what type of story would we be following?
One part that I can talk about is the relationship between Jack, Evelyn and Sam. Jack and Evelyn have a thing going on, but then it becomes painfully obvious that Sam is head over heels for Jack. The problem is he won’t touch the crew… which basically means Sam since she’s the only woman on board. This tension is a nice twist as Sam’s character is developed. She she’s playing the tomboy turned beauty role, but something about her honesty with Doc was unexpected.
While the characters are enjoyable I’m hoping the Kel Symons will have some more character focused stories in the future. I still really want to know why and how each character came aboard the Venture and just a better feel for them in general. They all seem so willing to lay down their life for Jack and each other and while that works for now, I don’t know if I would just buy that as the default going forward. Otherwise the characters are rich and hard not to like.
The star of this series has always been Mathew Reynolds for me personally. His artwork is just stunning to look at. I can’t think of anything new to say about it. It just has this golden age Hollywood look to it, but still remains animated in style. There is nothing else that looks like The Mercenary Sea on the market and if an imitator came along it would be hard pressed to impress.
The first arc has come to a close and it’s still every bit as enjoyable as the previous issues. It’s a book that I enjoy reading and take my time to get to because I know I’m in for a consistent product from both the art and writing. There’s going to be a gap in the schedule as the trade is released and the team gears up for the next story line, but it’s a series that you don’t want to miss. It has a classic Hollywood feel to it in general and there’s nothing else like it on the market.
Writer: Kel Symons Artist: Mathew Reynolds Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 7/30/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital