cover image Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. Image, $16.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-63215-761-4

Ennis's (Preacher) sharp, dark-humored postapocalyptic saga was originally published in 1996 as part of DC's little known SF line, Helix; this edition rescues it from obscurity. "Bloody Mary" Malone, master commando (are these stories ever about "adequate" commandos?), faces off against sadistic effete fops, brutal bioengineered killers, and the religious right. It's prescient in its treatment of the current European discussions over welcoming immigrants, but no fan ever came to an Ennis story expecting a crystal-clear reflection of modern society. It displays an early version of the military corps black humor Ennis would later hone in books such as Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (also with Ezquerra) and The Boys. Ezquerra's art fits this tone well and walks the fine line between realism and grotesquery that Ennis's over-the-top characters and script require. Intentionally muted color palettes by Matt Hollingsworth and Chris Chuckry ground the action despite the dozens of smoking guns and piles of skulls. Ennis completists will be happy to see this back in print, and it makes a solid introduction to his later, more macabre work. (Mar.)