Anathema Vol 1’s cover boasts “Monsters! Girls! Bloodshed! Revenge!” and it delivers.
The story begins with Mercy Barlowe watching her love, Sarah, being burned at the stake. For being with a woman, considered a crime against God, her father carries out the execution. As if that wasn’t heinous enough, before her death, Sarah curses God and a demonic creature takes her soul.
Mercy is helpless and cannot stop any of this. But she vows to free Sarah’s soul from the creature that has stolen it.
What does Mercy do to get her revenge? Well, she becomes a werewolf
Many things in this book went more of the Classic Horror route. Mercy drinks rain water from a wolf’s paw print. As a werewolf, she can’t talk. She encounters creepy soul eating blackbirds, giant monsters, mean with the head of a goatskull and giant hammers. And everything is really bloody and terrible. It’s wonderful.
Mercy is fighting for her love’s soul, against the rise of Count Alderic Karnstein and ultimately against herself for her own inaction. She feels guilt ridden for watching as Sarah burned and she’s on a quest for retribution.
Volume 1 is titles “The Evil That Men Do”
Count Karnstein renounced God after the death of his wife and children (which is all well and good, but then), slipped into delirium aligned himself with demons, started eating souls of tortured women and the feasting on blood. His appetite grew so hideous that he was vanquished by knights, his heart cut into 4 pieces and hidden at the ends of the earth.
Sarah’s family burns their own daughter alive because of their bigotry.
Mercy transforms herself into a monster seeking vengeance and justice.
There’s a whole lot of evil and a whole lot of awesome.
Buy the first three issues here. Issues 4-6 are in the works.
4.5 demonic ravens!