Mercury Heat #1 (Avatar)


CREDIT: Avatar

Rating: 3/5 – Action With a Main Character and World We Learn Little About.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Mercury Heat is the latest series to come out of Avatar Press. With a Lovecraft series from Alan Moore, a war series from Garth Ennis and an exploration of gods in God Is Dead, Avatar is more than just a company that focuses on horror, violence and shock. Although Mercury Heat does have its share of bloody violence, its tame when compared to a series like Crossed. Mercury Heat puts a female hero at the center of a science fiction space tale set on Mercury in the future. Although I found the premise to be interesting and have potential, I unfortunately was never all that entertained.

Writer Kieron Gillen uses the planet Mercury as the setting, and throughout this first issue we get the sense that there’s a structure and caste system to this futuristic society, but I wasn’t ever sure how it all tied together. Main character Luiza wakes up on a space station to the voice of an artificial intelligence called the Grapevine. As the two discuss future work opportunities, we learn that Luiza can perform mining operations, secretarial duties, or police work based on her personality class and skill-set. That’s about as much information about Luiza’s background as we get. We see her rough and tough personality in the way she interacts with others aboard the space station, but you’re left trying to piece together what makes her who and what she is. Although future issues may provide those answers, the lack of information prevented me from connecting with Luiza in this opening chapter.

Luiza ends up picking the police work which has her investigating an accident that took the life of a local mining worker. The investigation is of course more than just an average accident and Luiza shows just how powerful she is when she fights two men who are interfering with her work, brutally beating them with her cybernetic implants. Again, I was left wondering just how the implants are possible, and why towards the end of the story she refers to herself as “Heat”.

Although the art by Omar Francia is strong throughout, the writing never connected with me. Gillen chose to hold back too much information as he pushed the action in this issue. By the end of the issue I never really cared for main character Luiza, and found myself less and less inclined to pick up the next issue. I’ve found myself enjoying a lot of what Avatar has been offering lately, but unfortunately not here. The book assumes I will come back to learn more, but never does enough to make me want to.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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