REVIEW: ‘Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly’ #1

(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)

Written by Patricia Briggs & Rik Hoskin
Illustrated by Tom Garcia
Color Artwork by Mohan
Lettered by Bill Tortolini

Well everyone, I’m back – and jumping in with a great comic for you. Based off the book series of the same name and author (Briggs), Mercy Thompson is a refreshing new story line for the comic book universe. The world in which she lives is just like ours, but with one major difference – mystical creatures are real. Mercy herself has inherited her Native-American fathers shifting abilities and can turn into a Coyote and lives with her werewolf husband, Adam Hauptman – alpha of the pack, and her human stepdaughter, Jesse Hauptman.  In this world, humans have recently become aware of the mystics existence, and as you can imagine, there is still a lot of issues that are being worked out. We get to see these issues and struggles from both sides, as the story not only follows Mercy, but her stepdaughter Jesse.

The story starts out with the pack running around and Mercy’s inner-voice saying “Bad guys. Good guys. The terms aren’t absolute. They’re transient. They shift. Like us.” And already we know that we are strapped in for a wild ride. Not a page later, the pack comes across bones of a child buried in the ground. Mercy, being able to shift the easiest, deals with “human stuff” the most, turns into her human form and calls the cops. Upon arriving the cops blame the pack for the killing, claiming that only monsters would kill a child. Mercy fights back, standing up for the pack. A bit off bickering happens between the cops and Mercy, until more bodies are found, and it is decided that the pack wouldn’t report themselves for such hideous murders.

The point of view soon shifts to that of Jesse, and we get to see what she has to deal with being the daughter of a werewolf.  We don’t see a whole lot of bullying being done, but we do learn that Jesse isn’t a typical girl; she doesn’t waste her time chasing after the cute boy and spends her lunchtime studying. And while her interaction with her friends is normal, it is when she returns home we get a better picture of what she deals with. Upon coming home, Mercy, like most moms, asks Jesse how her day was. Jesse responds with “My dad’s still the alpha of the local werewolf pack, right? Then yes….people just cross the halls to avoid me.” At dinner, when Mercy and Adam are talking about the bodies they found, Jessie asks them why they have to talk about this. Her dad responds with “You’re my daughter, Jesse. And being the daughter of a werewolf, you have to get used to this kind of talk.” (It was revealed earlier that Jesse used to live with her mom.) It is obvious that Jesse wants to be like other families – but that’s just not an option.

And, Reader, that’s about all I want to give away on this comic. Though this comic is mostly a set up for what’s to come, it does a great job of setting the scene and giving you insight into your two protagonists. And lets talk about that for a moment – both our protagonist are woman. And they aren’t just woman, they are strong independent woman. Mercy has admitted to being the girl in the boy’s club, and is lucky they accept her so well, both in her job as a mechanic and her role within the pack. And Jesse has admitted to being smarter than most of her peers, and having a tendency to disagree with most of them. On the other hand though, we also see Mercy as the wife of the pack leader and Jesse as a girl just trying to fit in and survive high school. Both our protagonists are two-dimensional woman – something that woman in the comic book industry lack greatly. And it is this reason, more then even the premise of the story itself (and I’m a sucker for a good mystic story line) that I really enjoyed this comic. But don’t take my word for it – go and get it. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


AliCardaropoli-profile-pic-small

Ali is a creative writer with an emphasis on Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Comic Books. She first fell in love with superheroes when they were used to teach her to read. When not practicing at her dojo or out seeing the latest superhero movie with her friends, Ali can be found curled up on the couch with her dog and a good book.

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