Bloody Mary

Bloody MaryGarth Ennis has some amazing work under his belt, not least of which is Preacher. However, some of his shorter works haven’t had quite the same impact. Bloody Mary follows a similar path to this previous work, including Pride & Joy and Just a Pilgrim: mixing genres (in this case horror, sci-fi and war) with a promising concept that loses something along the way.

Bloody MaryMary Malone is a special-forces operative of the highest calibre, fighting a third world war for an Anglo-American alliance against a Europe unified under a facist dictator. She’s tall, blonde and aggressive – if this were a film from twenty years ago, she’d have been played by Brigitte Nielsen.

There are two story arcs collected in the book, previously published in two four-part comics. The first serves as a decent introduction to Mary’s world and shows how she became a top soldier – she’ll go to any lengths to complete her mission, but if it involves dressing up as a nun, so much the better.

There’s more nun outfits in the second story, which is stronger than the first and carries through some of the themes and characters, but only adds a little depth to them.

In fact, despite the potential for farce, the stories are relatively humourless affairs. The future portrayed in the book is a bleak one, and while these are fair action stories for those who like a bit of politics and sci-fi with their guns and nuns, it left us only semi-entertained and wishing that Ennis would spend more time on his master-pieces and less on the semi-interesting asides.

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