Anna Mercury # 2
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Facundo Percio
(Cover to Anna Mercury #2. Art on this variant cover by Paul Duffield. I still prefer it to the painted cover, but hey, it’s up to you.)
I reviewed the first issue of Anna Mercury just a few weeks ago (Right here in fact) and was pleasantly surprised by it. For too long, I’d thought that Warren Ellis, one of my favourite writers was guilty of having a surfeit of ideas that he was only too keen to throw at Avatar Press knowing they’d leap upon them and publish them. For every good or okay book (Crecy) there were a host of merely okay or worse books coming out (Black Summer went from good setup to a bland okay in two issues, Blackgas and Wolfskin were just paper thin ideas to start with. I still don’t like Doktor Sleepless).
But with Anna Mercury #1 I put forward the hope that this was going to be one of the good ones and wasn’t going to repeat Black Summer’s trick of a great first issue followed by a huge comedown from issue two onwards. Certainly there were enough good moments in that first issue to raise my hopes. And enough hints in the book that this wasn’t going to be as straightforward a tale as some of his Avatar work.
And thankfully, with issue 2, I can safely say that this is definitely shaping up to be something very good indeed. The setup throughout issue 1 has paid off nicely, with Anna revealed to be acting as some cross dimensional secret agent type racing around trying to save the planet from some form of all out destruction. This is the big show and tell issue, with Ellis setting out the peculiar science behind the world in the first few pages of this issue. In fact it’s all conveniently explained, complete with easy to follow diagrams to the prime minister of the day by the head of Anna’s department. it seems that Anna works for a department tasked with keeping everything in order. Because Anna’s earth sits in the middle of the constellation project:
Nine half constructed worlds hanging in invisible orbit around Earth. All of which have human beings on them. None of whom are aware of the other worlds or the existence of Earth. This constitutes the greatest mystery, and the greatest secret of our time.
And with that reveal, Ellis makes Anna Mercury far more interesting than anything he’s written for Avatar so far.
Of course, the whole world within a world thing combined with the heroine in shiny leathers pulling off impossible fighting moves all rather smacks of Trinity in the Matrix. But I’m going to give Ellis a break on that one – after all the Matrix was nicked off Grant Morrison’s Invisibles anyway so a comic borrowing something back is hardly a terrible thing is it?. I shall definitely be sticking around to see where he goes with it. After a series of so-so books, I think Anna Mercury may well be a triumphant return to form.