Both Carlos Ezquerra and Gareth Ennis have created some amazing pieces of narrative, but in Bloody Mary we see the beautiful complimentary telling of narrative from both the artistic perspective and the dynamic prose of the story.
Under a brutal right-wing federal government, Europe has become united under a former football hooligan who is predictably elected under a platform of xenophobia and chilling echoes of Hitler, promising economic prosperity for all citizens. Britain decides to unite with the USA and begin a World War and for the third time in a hundred years, Europe becomes a slaughterhouse for ideological battle once again.
A sole survivor of a Brutal Kill Team, Corporal “Bloody”Mary Malone is chosen to work with the special forces of the USA and the UK. She has a troubled history, having previously been betrayed by her squad leader Anderton and was left for dead. Her sheer force of will and lust for revenge brought her back from the brink of death and she recovered. Now working with various Black Ops units, she seeks to disable the enemies advantage and looks for opportunities for revenge against Anderton, should the opportunity arise.
During the course of the first comic series, the narrative sees Mary on a mission to finally assassinate Anderton and obtain a strange weapon which has the powerful potential to win the never ending war. This turns out to be a biological weapon that, when ingested, turns the host into an unstoppable killing machine.
Mary recruits one of the most interesting characters I have encountered, The Major, a man of unknown origin – losing his memory after an intense previous battle with the enemy. The Major strikes me as a homage/piss-take of previous British War comics, strong fearless and above all Jingoistic – seeking at all means to see of Johnny Foreigner.
Bloody Mary is a fantastic mix of traditional war comic with sci fi, balanced with characters that become memorable and the narrative and artwork draw you into a believable world of revenge and espionage in a believable dystopian fascist world.