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I recently got a great eBay deal on the comic book with my all-time favorite cover: Anna Mercury #2, the WizardWorld Chicago Convention variant, of which only 1500 were printed.

Anna Mercury is one of many short series Warren Ellis wrote for Avatar, including Black Summer, a brutal sci-fi adventure featuring my other all-time favorite cover: a wraparound by the same artist, Juan Jose Ryp.

The Anna Mercury story itself is just okay. It works best when it gives us every excuse to watch the leading lady kick all kinds of ass and do amazing stunts. With art pages like the following action sequence by Facundo Percio, I could be on board for just about any plot.

Anna seems to have it all: mega powers, mega weapons, mega awesome hair, and superb stunt skills. But although she has all these things in the alternate reality she struggles to rescue from oblivion, they are revealed to be an artifice when she returns to her own reality, where she is just a regular gal. Maybe Warren Ellis was making a comment on gamers and virtual world users, and the difference between our hyper-awesome cartoon identities and the hum-drum of everyday life.

As a writer of over-the-top adventures featuring an ass-kicking leading lady who also has huge hair, big guns, and major attitude problems, I absolutely love Anna’s aesthetic. When I hired an artist to do an illustration for the cover of The Second Omnibus, I sent him another brilliant Anna Mercury cover as a reference for the type of bodysuit Meteor Mags might wear, but embellished with stars and skulls.

Only a thousand of those were printed, and one of them arrived in my mailbox today. Stylistically, Anna’s been a big influence, and all I can say is that I hope Mags gets a movie deal before Anna does. May the best woman win.

Collector’s Guide: The five single issues of Anna Mercury were collected in paperback and hardcover editions. The three-issue sequel is Anna Mercury 2. An Art Book of pin-ups by various artists and the short Prepare for Launch sketchbook round out the collection.