In Mercury's first appearance in "Black and White", he was shown to be a pale, well-built young man with gray eyes and, while draped in shadow, somehow purple hair (revealed to actually be gray in the credits of the same episode), partially slicked back while unkempt at the front. He also wears a slate gray and black two-tone partial-zip jacket, that covers his upper body.
Mercury's appearance did not change much in Volume 2, though his hair and eyes are now a silvery-gray. He now also wears a single notched belt with what appears to be a sash or bandana draped over it. Protecting his arms are sets of rerebraces and vambraces.
He has prosthetic legs, which attach part-way up his thighs. These legs are usually hidden, due to him always wearing pants and a pair of shoes. His armor hides what appear to be oddly-shaped scars on the outer sides and backs of both of his arms.
In "Beginning of the End", he was first seen wearing his signature zip jacket with the collar zipped all the way up, minus his armor. His pants were a dark orange, and he wore a pair of black boots.
In "Best Day Ever", Mercury is shown to be rather care-free and jokes around when in the company of Emerald, whom he makes an effort to annoy. He seems to opt for excitement and action; he dislikes books without pictures and tells Emerald that he finds the city boring. However, when it comes to matters at hand, Mercury drops this, focusing himself on the mission.
During battle, Mercury displays a sense of seriousness and levelheadedness. Based on his fight with Pyrrha Nikos, he appears to test and gauge his opponent before fully committing to an attack, implying that he has a strategic mind. His cunning is later shown once more during his match against Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi in "Lessons Learned", where he takes advantage of the savanna biome to hide before launching a surprise attack on Coco. He also uses the geyser biome to his advantage, using it to create an opening on Yatsuhashi and to defeat him.
Judging from the nonchalant way he talks about killing Tukson, Mercury appears to have no qualms about killing, even light-heartedly joking about it afterwards with Emerald. Although subtle, he also speaks in a derogatory fashion about Tukson even after having murdered him in cold blood. This is probably due to his father's tutelage as he was most likely taught in the ways of assassinations.
In "It's Brawl in the Family", he appears to show genuine concern when spotting Qrow Branwen, knowing full well he poses as a substantial threat to Cinder's agenda and shows total cooperation in letting her know of all the details he can gather.
"Fall" and "Beginning of the End" demonstrate his acting ability, where he plays a major role in framing Yang Xiao Long; making it seem like she initially attacks and lands a serious injury on him, when in truth, due to his prosthetic legs, the injury is not as grave as everyone else is led to believe. He is also very compliant with Cinder's orders, allowing himself to remain hidden for the immediate future so as to not jeopardize the plan.
Despite his usual carefree demeanor, in "The Next Step", it is shown that Mercury does not take insults or disrespect well, responding to Watts' insults with an eagerness to attack him until Emerald stops him. He is usually outspoken, but when he is with Salem's group, he refrains from speaking.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Going off of his fight with Pyrrha in "Extracurricular", Mercury is shown to be a very acrobatic and agile fighter who relies on quickly overpowering his opponent with complex kicks that imply a near-mastery of martial arts that resemble Tae-Kwon-Do. He's also capable of a break-dancing style, similar to Capoeira and make use of Muay Thai as well as shown in the same fight. His experience and skill with his leg-based fighting style is aggressive and effective enough to drive even a fighter of high caliber and great combat experience like Pyrrha Nikos, considered to be the strongest first-year student at Beacon Academy, into a defensive position.
Despite his focus on kicks, Mercury also uses his hands to grapple, block, or redirect enemy attacks. In his fight with Coco and Yatsuhashi, he grabbed them both and twisted them into an easier position for his kicks, and even stretched out Coco's arm, allowing him to kick her in the head. During his battle with Yang, he showed deft skill by using his arms to weather Yang's barrage of punches, which Yang is known to be very skilled at throwing. His skill in utilizing his arms were shown in the same fight as he occasionally punched at Yang before following suit with a barrage of kicks.
Mercury is also known to be observant, tactical and analytical, as he notices and deduces the capabilities and limits of Pyrrha's Polarity Semblance after she used it once during their brief fight. His observation skills were later demonstrated once more when he was able to track down and counter Ruby Rose's movements while she used her Semblance, an ability that the combined efforts of Team JNPR were unable to stop during their brief fight against Team RWBY in "Best Day Ever".
Mercury reveals the impressive extent of skill in the doubles round of the Vytal Festival, dominating both Coco and Yatsuhashi single-handed with his impressive feats of speed and strength, being capable of evading Coco's barrage of bullets, which possessed a noticeable spread and were fired at a rapid pace, and counter-attacking from the air swiftly.
Due to his fighting style, Mercury relies on his swift and quick reflexes to counter and block his opponents attacks, as demonstrated at first during his fight with Yatsuhashi, in which he used certain kicks to alter the course of Yatsuhashi's sword strikes, or blocked them altogether with his greaves. His quick reflexes are later seen once more when he is occasionally seen altering the course of Yang's punches by raising her fists with his impressive footwork and kicking underneath or around her attacks to avoid being hit.
Mercury's weapon of choice is a set of boots equipped with a firing mechanism built into them similar to Ember Celica.
Similar to Yang's usage of her Ember Celica, Mercury is capable of firing explosive rounds from his boots whenever he kicks for moderate to long-range combat. Most of the time he's seen firing his boots are usually mid-handspring, also known as a kip/kick-up or when maneuvering his body in a manner similar to break-dancing, more specifically; "Thomas flairs" and "airflares", and is able to fluently translate from his aggressive Tae-Kwon-Do-like kicking style strikes to this Capoeira style. He is also seen using it in a more traditional manner with frontal or side kicks.
Mercury can also control the rounds through Dust use. During his tournament fight, he gathered multiple rounds that spun around him in a manner similar to that of a cyclone surrounding him before the rounds were later unleashed in a devastating flurry. He also possesses, at the very least, capable marksmanship skills, being able to fire his Dust rounds efficiently despite the barrels being located near the soles of his boots, as shown when he fired a round at Yang before using his cyclone technique during their fight and when he shot Ruby's Scroll out of her hands during their confrontation.
He can also use the boots to jump in midair by bringing his legs together and firing his boots simultaneously, boosting him forward and allowing him to achieve temporary flight. This is likely a reference to the Roman god Mercury, known for his speed and ability to fly with his winged sandals.
Mercury has a pair of robotic legs, which he acquired at some currently unknown point in time. His prosthetics make up most of his leg, including a portion of his thigh and everything below the knee. He usually keeps them concealed under his pants. These robotic legs appear to give him enhanced performance in battle, such as being able to withstand blasts of fire without taking damage. He is also able to very easily repair "injuries" to his legs that would otherwise put a normal human out of commission or require medical attention.
His prosthetics are also quite durable, being able to withstand significant attacks that would otherwise severely reduce Mercury's Aura. His prosthetic limbs have so far protected Mercury against a nearly point-black firestorm, a storm of frozen leaves and a direct point-blank blast from one of Yang's Ember Celica's shells. He used his legs to block a massive strike from Yatsuhashi's sword that was powerful enough to cause the geyser field biome they were in to erupt; he did this while lying on his back where he had no leverage at all, and he took little damage to his aura.
His kick-based fighting style, as well as his choice of weapon, are likely intended to take advantage of his prosthetic legs. His prosthetic limbs are capable of firing blasts of air, which he makes great use of in combat.
For information on his character allusion and other choices for the character made by the creators, see Mercury Black/Behind the Scenes.
- Gray and Miles described Mercury to J.J. as "a hipster douchebag, but he's cool."
- In an interview with AfterBuzz TV, J.J. claims that if Mercury were going all-out, he would have been able to defeat Pyrrha, though he admits this claim is biased. When describing his voice acting for the character, he says that it is basically him doing a bad impression of Jack Nicholson.
- In "It's Brawl in the Family", Mercury mentions that Qrow smelled like his dad after a long day, implying that Mercury's father was an alcoholic.