[Book Review] Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary / Garth Ennis & Carlos Ezquerra

Bloody Mary was first published almost 20 years ago, with a trade edition 10 years after.  It has just been republished under the Image imprint, with Bloody Mary and Bloody Mary: Lady Liberty together in the same volume.

Now, as is generally the case with a future story who's date has since past, the story does show it's age.  The art style has a sort of... crowding I associate with comics from the 90's and earlier, as well as a limited color palate.

It's best to take the story as an alt-history, taking place in 2012, during another Great War in Europe.  Mary Malone, AKA Bloody Mary is a top specialist agent and assassin.  She's known for getting in and out of situations no one else can, and in this war not all of the players are simply human.

Out of the two stories, I far preferred that of Lady Liberty, though the backstory of Bloody Mary is definitely a major factor in establishing elements of Lady Liberty.  The battle is more than just armies pitted against each other, but powerful players moving their own pieces around the board.  Lady Liberty has the stronger plot, action, and better connection with the characters.

The cover of the volume makes me expect more gun-toting nun than was delivered.  Story-wise, I get why this is the case, but... I still ended up disappointed.  Bloody Mary is a full story arc, present, past, and conclusion.

Lady Liberty takes place in the US, dealing with a sex-addict cult leader instituting a totalitarian regime of racial and ideological supremacy.  It connects surprisingly to the original story arc, bringing our protagonist back into conflict with a free agent.

I will say, that I was probably too amused by the references to Kurt Cobain...  They were darkly fitting.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Image Comics in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

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