Friday, July 11, 2014

Lady Mechanika - Volume 0: A Review

Lady Mechanika Volume #0
Written and Illustrated by: Joe Benitez
Comic Book: 25 pages
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Language: English
October 2010
Genre: Comic/Graphic novel, Steampunk

The mysteries surrounding private investigator LADY MECHANIKA and her origin begin to unfold as she heads to a rundown city known as Satan's Alley. Located on the lower eastside, it is an area of town under siege by the presence of a murderous creature of unknown origin. While a weapons manufacturer has issued a reward for the unknown slayer, drawing a crowd of bounty hunters looking to cash in, Lady Mechanika's purpose is far more personal - information that could lead to the truth about her creation.

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What is it that people find so fascinating about steampunk? Is it the Victorian sensibilities, the mixture of the vaguely modern and the Victorian? Bustles and ray guns? Gears and Clockwork? Maybe it’s the zeppelins and mad scientists. My friend Nick jokes that Steampunk is when Goths found the brown palettes of color. Whatever the draw is, I dig it. And for all of the above things. Its period, but it’s not. Mostly it is just fun when done right.

Now Comixology is really a great resource at times though admittedly a bit less now that their free section is limited. Shame really as their free section was how I found a lot of decent comics. Anyway, as we tried to find some lady in comics, comics for our latest comic book 101, I found Lady Mechanika. Let’s face it the whole steampunk vibe had me hooked. She would be fun to cosplay. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I so did. The art is quite lovely. I was intrigued. I decided to read more.

Lady Mechanika is half human and half machine. She cannot remember where she came from, who created her, who she is, and what she was meant to do. The official backstory on her, though not presented in the comics is that “The tabloids dubbed her "Lady Mechanika", the sole survivor of a serial killer's three-year rampage through England. Authorities found her locked in an abandoned laboratory amidst an undeterminable number of corpses and body parts, her own limbs having been amputated and replaced with mechanical components. With no memory of her captivity or her former life, Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn't or wouldn't handle. But she never stopped searching for the answers to her own past." Nice premise. Wish we could have had that in Issue 0 as I would have been even more interested in the Lady.

In this preview issue Lady Mechanika is investigating the rumors of a half mechanical demon haunting Satan’s Alley. There she meets up with Nathaniel Blackpool of Blackpool Armaments who wants to capture her and study her bits that are mechanical. He is also hunting the “demon” who has been haunting the alleyway. When they discover what has really been inhabiting the shadows, each treats it very differently.

It’s a teaser issue so it is extremely short. However, even in those very limited pages, I fell for the artwork and for Lady herself. I want to know more. She can kick your ass, but she can also show you kindness. I enjoyed the introduction to what could be a fun character and a fashionable on at that with all of her harnesses, corsets, and maybe a bustle or two.

Joe Benitez gets a gold star for creating, writing, and illustrating Mechanika. In fact it was the artwork that drew me in.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. It’s worth checking out. Luckily Comixology lets you do just that.

Part of: Ongoing Series.

Also Recommended: For more Steampunk try books from Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, and Scott Westerfield (Leviathan series)

3 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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