No Mercy tells the story of fifteen American teenagers and their supervisors involved in  image from Image Comicsa fatal bus crash.  They find themselves stranded in the desert of the fictional Central American country Mataguey.  The teens spend the first two issues struggling to survive the night after the crash. Half the passengers are dead, the coyotes are hungry, and the sun has yet to rise.

Writer Alex de Campi (Valentine, Archie vs. Predator) pushes the story forward, piling on complications and plot twists in a manner that could be called ruthless, or at the very least, relentless.  We spend very little time with the overachieving teens before they are thrust into peril, and once there, de Campi makes sure they never stay comfortable.  Artist Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), at once plays into this pacing and works against it.  A page of jumbled layout and overlapping panels first appears in the aftermath of the bus crash and gets a reprise in the second issue when coyotes attack the camp.  McNeil also works against the chaos of the dang image from Image Comicsers befalling the characters and the dense storyline with two-page spreads, applied with such care that they don’t feel like an affect, but serve as periods of reflection or respite from the pandemonium.

Read the rest at Paper Droids.



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