Bloody Mary

Author: Garth Ennis
Artist: Carlos Ezquerra
Titan Books
RRP 11.99
ISBN 184576 198 7
Available 23 December 2005

It's 2012, and the world is once again consumed by war. After 13 years of carnage in the trenches of France, the fascist superstate of continental Europe has nearly worn down the resources of Britain and America, but neither side can break the stalemate on the battlefield - until an experimental new technology appears that promises total domination for whoever possesses it. For the Allies, there's only one person capable of retrieving this new weapon from inside the heart of enemy territory - Corporal Mary Malone, better known as Bloody Mary...

Bloody Mary collects together the two Helix miniseries Bloody Mary and Bloody Mary: Lady Liberty. Both stories have a great black sense of humour (what else do you expect, being penned by Garth Ennis) and are fantastically illustrated by one of my favourite 2000AD artists, Carlos Ezquerra.

A Veteran of countless missions and one of only two survivors from the greatest kill-team ever assembled, Corporal Malone is getting tired of fighting - unlike her combat-addled, gung-ho British colleague The Major. But this assignment has an extra incentive: the mercenary peddling the war-winner is her old commander Anderton - the man who betrayed his own team to go freelance in the profiteering business. Even with the odds of survival falling somewhere between slim and none, it's too good an opportunity to pass up. Beating Anderton, however, will take more than guts and skill - and success may turn out to be worse than death.

The second tale sees Mary up against a mad cult leader who has convinced thousands of his female followers to sleep with him to repopulate the world with his seed. Stopping him won't be easy, as there are thousands of his loyal cult members who will die to ensure he carries out his plan.

The two tales are neatly tied in together and flow really well as one long narrative. While this might not be up to the standards of Ennis's work on Preacher, Bloody Mary is still a thrilling read.

Nick Smithson

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