Comic Book Review: The Mercenary Sea #1

The Mercenary Sea #1

Written by: Kel Symons

Art & Colors by: Mathew Reynolds

Letters by: Pat Brosseau


Action/adventure books are the new black. It seems every month we get a new comic that features a crew on a mission to an unknown locale facing danger and mystery at every turn. I kind of love it. It’s a nice departure from the typical superhero stuff and even the edgy and grim stuff that has been the norm for the past few years. We’re getting books that touch upon the storytelling of yester-year where special effects and actors weren’t what sold the book or movie, it was the storytelling; the characters -the suspense.

The Mercenary Sea #1 falls right into this bucket. A team of mercenaries on the run for various reasons travel from port to port looking for work and trying to avoid trouble all while taking place during World War II.  Kel Symons navigates this first issue flawlessly giving the reader an abundance of background information on our protagonist and side characters as well as hinting toward the greater adventure to come. And man, I really hope that adventure happens soon. This is definitely a “set up” issue. It’s prepping the reader for the stories yet to come using solid world building.

This issue has many plotlines growing from beginning to end and all are handled with care and given their space to breathe. Symons handles dialogue and conflict well — no character seems over written or farfetched. Each role is played the same as you would expect in an action movie; the captain, the doc, the mechanic, etc. It may be cliché but it’s familiar and works perfectly fine in a tale of sea-faring mercenaries.

While the story is set to suck you in, what will really catch you off guard is the art. Mathew Reynolds delivers an entirely digital cinematic experience that props layer on top of layer using color fades to create perspective. The jungle scenes work really well as each level of depth has its own color arrangement designated to it. His expressions and silhouettes are poignant and dynamic.  And while his color variations are a bit repetitive they stand starkly on the page making each panel pop.

Score: 6 (out of 7)

Thoughts? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @theprophetlen and let me know what you think. 

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