The Mercenary Sea #1
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The Mercenary Sea #1

Writer: Kel Symons Artist: Mathew Reynolds Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: February 12, 2014 Cover Price: $2.99 Critic Reviews: 27 User Reviews: 5
7.6Critic Rating
7.3User Rating

Action and adventure set in 1938—The South Seas. Japan has invaded China. War in Europe is imminent. Ex-bootlegger Jack Harper captains The Venture, a refitted German U-Boat, with a crew of expats, mercenaries and treasure hunters. They do whatever it takes to stay afloat, often running up against pirates, headhunters, spies, and soldiers. They’re always one step away from the greatest score of their lives...or their certain demise.

  • 10
    Big Comic Page - Chris Napier Feb 11, 2014

    I'm not exaggerating, this series looks to be a lot of fun and given how well-realised our main players are in the first issue – plus the three or four long term arcs that have already been seeded – I'd recommend you jump on board at the beginning. Read Full Review

  • 10
    AIPT - David Brooke Feb 12, 2014

    This is a great read and an even greater introduction to the premise and characters. You'll slowly be dragged in with the dialogue and character dynamics and then coldcocked by the uniquely striking art. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Dustin Cabeal Jan 23, 2014

    This is a really good first issue and I hope that people pay attention to it because it has the potential to be a great series. Sure the creators are some of the more established comic industry names working at Image, but that's what's made Image great" up and coming creators. With as many big titles coming down the pipeline they're going to be hard pressed to beat The Mercenary Sea in my opinion. Do not miss out on this issue, my gut and experience tell me that's it geared towards a second print already. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comic Spectrum - Gilad Levin Feb 12, 2014

    The adventures of a mercenary submarine crew that accepts various jobs from various people to make ends meet and keep the ship running is both simple and rife with possibility for story hooks. I breezed though this issue but was left wanting more in the end, I'll be back for #2. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Peter Schmeiser Feb 19, 2014

    Mercenary Sea is a brilliant book that demonstrates how details can create a rich environment, and sooth the more critical parts of your subconscious that are consistently puzzling out what you are reading. The book is abundant depth and intrigue, and easily found its way onto my pull list. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Major Spoilers - George Chimples Feb 14, 2014

    The Mercenary Sea #1 is a strong debut, combining a forceful, unique art style with strong writing. This is an unabashed adventure series with some already interesting characters, and an art style that lines up perfectly with the themes and setting. All my criticisms are small ones, as I wholly enjoyed this issue and can recommend it without reservation. With The Mercenary Sea, Image has taken another chance on a new creative team, and I think it's given them another hit. Check it out.Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleRedditTumblrEmailMoreLinkedInStumbleUponPrintDiggPinterest Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Den Of Geek! - Jason Tabrys Feb 12, 2014

    Despite my lack of familiarity with Reynolds' work, it manages to feel familiar and quite original. Characters look like a mix between Johnny Quest and Archer with bold black lines and Reynolds' silhouette style and the way that it teams up with black, blue, purple, and green colored skies conspire to convey extreme depth for a real slice of visual WOW. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    We The Nerdy - Patrick McAleer Feb 18, 2014

    Early days, but Mercenary Sea is shaping up to be a fun pulpy ride with adventure, mystery and bar room brawls. Jump on board. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    The MacGuffin - Matt LeMaire Feb 10, 2014

    THE MERCENARY SEA #1 shows that Symons and Reynolds have the chops to bring us an exciting and fun adventure story set on the high seas. The swiftly paced writing coupled with the unique art show that this is yet another series to watch from Image in 2014. If you've got an inch for adventure, The Mercenary Sea surely looks to scratch it, so get onboard The Venture and let's set sail together. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Nerds On The Rocks - LenDiggity Feb 19, 2014

    While the story is set to suck you in, what will really catch you off guard is the art. Mathew Reynolds delivers an entirely digital cinematic experience that props layer on top of layer using color fades to create perspective. The jungle scenes work really well as each level of depth has its own color arrangement designated to it. His expressions and silhouettes are poignant and dynamic. And while his color variations are a bit repetitive they stand starkly on the page making each panel pop. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Entertainment Fuse - Andrew Ziegler Feb 19, 2014

    Mercenary Sea #1 is set in the south Pacific during the tumultuous and chaotic years leading into World War II. I have a hard time believing that this pirate filled, wartime adventure comic will ever run out of exciting new dangers for Captain Jack and his crew to grapple with. I am most certainly on board with Mercenary Sea, and I cant wait to see what exploits Symons has in store, and the beautiful images that Reynolds will put them to, in the coming issues. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Word Of The Nerd - Mig-El Feb 18, 2014

    This first issue is a fast and fun read and sets up what will hopefully be a great story full of action and excitement in this new ongoing series. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Rhymes With Geek - Josh Reifler Feb 11, 2014

    The pulp-era action adventure book is nothing new but Symons and Reynolds have injected something that these sort of series are so often lacking – character development. Many authors seem to make the mistake of thinking that setting and action can compensate for having one-dimensional actors and that clearly is not the case in this instance. It's a fun and great looking book that readers will surely enjoy if they are in the mood for a comic that mixes up 30′s style action with a modern Whedon-esque writing style. Overall 8 out of 10. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Unleash The Fanboy - Harrison Rawdin Feb 2, 2014

    The Mercenary Sea #1 is fun! And as a first entry it does more than enough to garner attention and praise. So by all means, reserve it on your pull-list. Because on February 12th you'll find yourself flipping through its pages as it comes recommended. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics: The Gathering - mahargen Feb 11, 2014

    There is a hole in my pull list that this title fills. This is a fun action/adventure story that takes the reader on a cinematic trip with a group of likeable adventurers. I can’t wait to see where the story takes us. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Dean Stell Feb 15, 2014

    If you want something different, give this a try. This first issue didn't blow my socks off, but it has a TON of potential to do so. I love the setting, the types of characters and the storytelling style. And the visuals are kinda arresting. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Multiversity Comics - Vince Ostrowski Feb 13, 2014

    The comic shop rack is sorely lacking in sea-faring titles, and at the same time you can never have too many comics that try to capture pulp adventure and swashbuckling like “The Mercenary Sea” does. Symons and Reynolds are working hard to fill that hole, and with all kinds of little hints at things to come, the results are potentially sprawling and massive. Even with a sense of adventure, too many of these books get bogged down with overly moody situations and characters. While the cast of “The Mercenary Sea” has plenty of scars, they don't let anything get the way of the sense of fun and camaraderie. The story gives each character a little moment to shine, and Reynolds' artistic approach is something truly different and worth rewarding. Read Full Review

  • 7.8
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Feb 14, 2014

    Overall, the comic is a solid first issue that's great for folks who enjoy tense spy and submarine films. There's a classic throwback to it all, that's a big part of the draw for me. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    ComicBuzz - Ollie Feb 27, 2014

    Over the next few issues we should see some fleshing out of the characters but for this issue we are left guessing about the mysterious past of the crew and their connection with a Japanese Admiral that seems to want them dead. While there is a lot of stereotypes with this story, it is a really entertaining adventure story like Indiana Jones at sea. The art is reminiscent of an animated series like Archer but looks great with this series, the characters themselves are drawn with simple expressions but when shown in silhouettes or zoomed out you really see the detail in the background. Image Comics have another winner on their hands and fill an Indiana Jones sized gap in the lives of adventure fans. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Feb 15, 2014

    The premise and artwork are fantastic, but the plot and character work aren't fully baked in this issue. The ingredients are certainly all there for this to be a smash hit. A little more clarity around the full cast on the ship and some more character definition and I think the book will be closer. The plot will unfold so that will be there. There's a lot here to like it just doesn't quite connect all the way in this comic. This is worth checking out. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Addicts - Anirudh Singh Feb 18, 2014

    The story works well. It is cleverly written and reveals almost nothing in this first issue. Which is not a big deal, however I would have liked it had they shown more of the submarine. The comic has a laid back European aesthetic to it, something that I miss in American comics. I am certain Kel Symons has read some Corto Maltese back in the day. The atmosphere of the comic is similar, though it is not completely there yet. As things stand, I know I will be eagerly waiting for future issues. If you can accept the digital shades in the artwork then I am certain you will be too. Read Full Review

  • 6.8
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Feb 12, 2014

    Matthew Reynolds brings a very interesting, stylized look to the project that I'm sure is drawing plenty of comparisons to the FX animated series Archer. The characters themselves are marked by bold, thick lines and fairly simple facial work. It's more the colors that stand out and give this book its visual edge. Reynolds frequently zooms out and frames his characters as mere silhouettes against an environment of lush colors and angular shapes. It creates a terrific sense of mood and atmosphere that isn't as apparent in the smaller, dialogue-driven scenes. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    CHUD - Jeb Delia Feb 15, 2014

    What really sets The Mercenary Sea apart from the usual Doc Savage/Phantom knockoff adventure is Reynolds' artwork, which I suspect is going to be both a strong selling point, and a complete deal-breaker, depending on the reader. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Book Resources - Greg McElhatton Feb 12, 2014

    "The Mercenary Sea" #1 has a lot of promise, and based on this first issue I'll be back for more. It's a good debut, and with a little work that can shift from "good" to "great." These are two talented creators, and given time, they could be powerhouses. All in all, a pleasant start. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    PopMatters - James Orbesen Feb 17, 2014

    There could be something to The Mercenary Sea but, at this point, it just isn't there. The amount of material on loan in this comic is unbearable in its current form. Maybe down the line all these overly familiar pieces could be used for unfamiliar effects. Sadly, that is nowhere here. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    All-Comic - Joey Caswell Feb 11, 2014

    Overall, this first installment of The Mercenary Sea was just very boring. At least personally, there was nothing to like about this book. The few great visuals werent enough to recover from the surprisingly bland writing. Maybe this series will develop a solid story, but this didnt feel like a great way to bring in new readers. As an introduction to the title, this book didnt really offer anything to get excited about or interested in. Read Full Review

  • 1.0
    Newsarama - Rob McMonigal Feb 13, 2014

    A band of stereotypical rogues take on odd sea jobs and the look of a rejected Cartoon Network pitch in this opening issue that does little to establish itself. Read Full Review

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