If you’ve ever wanted to check out the world of steampunk, this comic is for you. It blends stunning artwork with very smart writing, along with a glimpse in the world of steampunk, villains, and an antagonist who is very much so the title of the comic. It reads as a detective comic as we follow our mechanical heroine through some unbelievable circumstances as she searches for the truth behind the emergence of another mechanical girl. If that sort of thing intrigues you, then you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve been a fan of Aspen for a long time now, thanks to the superb talent that was Michael Turner. And when it was introduced that a steampunk inspired comic was being created by Soulfire writer, Joe Benitez
, and Aspen co-founder and awesome colorist, Peter Steigerwald
, I knew I immediately had to add this title to my pull list.
Unfortunately, the fairytale wasn’t meant to be due to unforeseen delays in Benitez’s release of issue #3, which personally, was reminiscent of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass series. But when a new issue emerged in my box at my local comic shop a year and some change later, I couldn’t help from being excited to continue the story of the mechanical woman. The title series has long been completed; the final issue was released in March of 2015, and Benitez has moved on to a new story arc called Tablet of Destinies which is also in my box at my local comic shop. I recently finished the 5-issue run of Benitez’ first creator-owned property, and thus brings us to this review.
I have to admit that the first few issues were tough to get through. The main reason was because of how much dialogue there were in each panel. This didn’t hinder me from getting through the comic but it was very daunting at the beginning. But the entirety of the dialogue was very smart. The best word to describe it is: sophisticated. Since this is my first foray into the world of steampunk, I’m not too savvy with the Victorian-esque proper way of speaking with each other but it definitely keeps you engrained in this world.
And the artwork does its job as well. Benitez’ characters are both vibrant and tasteful. He really gets into each individual’s core in a very quick way that isn’t rushed at all, and best of all, keeps the flow of the story going nicely. Speaking of vibrant, the villains Lady Mechanic encounters are just that. They remind me of the Bond villains of old who had names like Odd Job and Jaws. Benitez’ villains share mechanical attributes that not only makes them more menacing but also grounds this world, making the reader believe this reality of half mechanical, half human individuals exist. And personally, this 5-issue run is just a taste of what this world can offer a reader’s imagination.
Lady Mechanika is at the heart, a detective story. The story begins with a mechanical corpse found in a train station. No, that’s not our title character. But she does make her entrance in the most courteous way calling on a doctor friend of sorts at his home as he and his daughter traveled to Mechanika City for the innovation conference, appropriately named Mechani-Con. The story whirlwinds from here as we are introduced to many other characters, along with villains, as the story plays out. And it’s a pretty fun ride.
Does this get Shortboxed?
Even though this first story arc took awhile to be released in single issues, it still is worth the read. Especially with the possible future of this world since Joe Benitez says it will be an on-going series under his production company, Benitez Productions. The first arc does a great job introducing us to Lady Mechanika and keeps us wanting more as the story plays out. The addition of Benitez’ awesome artwork and Steigerwald’s amazing colors makes this worthy of any short box.
If you want a change of pace with sophisticated writing set in a world of steampunk, eccentric villains, and of course, a bad-ass mechanical heroine, then check out Lady Mechanika!
Where to get it
This 5-issue run may not be available at your local comic shop in its entirety, but you can definitely grab the single issues at Benitez Production’s website: here. There, you’ll notice Benitez collected Issues 0 & 1 together as well as Issues 2 & 3. The final 2 issues are available to purchase individually as well. He mentions that he wants to do a trade but at the time, completing the first story arc was his main goal. His newest story arc, Tablet of Destinies, is suppose to be stand alone story for any reader to jump on from, but Benitez boasts that you get a richer experience by reading the first arc. Tablet of Destinies can be found on the Benitez Production website as well.
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