No Mercy #2

No Mercy #2 cover

It’s the abandoned kids’ first night after the bus crash, and things are getting much worse for them quickly.

Various members of the group are handling the trauma in different fashions. Some are ignoring the depth of their risk, trying to find something to sing around the campfire. Others are attempting to care for their injured comrades, without the necessary knowledge or supplies, and becoming overwhelmed by the effort. The worst are panicking, which does no one any good but does remind the reader of how dangerous the situation really is.

No Mercy #2 cover

And at night, particularly with bodies around, the coyotes will come. This is a flat-out “animals attack” horror scenario from Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil, and the deep-shadow coloring by Jenn Manley Lee, with the only light a flickering fire, makes it all spookier, as the reader isn’t quite sure what she’s seeing.

The kids’ privilege is firmly on display, as no one listens to their guide, the only woman who’s aware of the serious danger they’re in. Well, there’s one exception, as we learn something important about the quiet kid.

de Campi and Speed McNeil seem to be using this premise to run through a variety of horror tropes, which makes the whole thing more interesting to those of us non-sadists who don’t normally read the genre. Last issue, it was an accident; this issue, monsters in the dark. I’m eager to see the next catastrophe. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)

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