Get in on the best-selling steampunk sensation from the very beginning! In a Victorian world filled with flying dirigibles, clockwork automatons, and elegantly fashionable attire, Lady Mechanika, a young woman with mechanical limbs and no memory of how she got them, searches desperately for the secrets to her past.  This specially priced book collects the first two sold out issues #0 (The Demon of Satan’s Alley) and #1 (The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse, Chapter One) of the original Lady Mechanika series.  A great introduction to Lady Mechanika for new readers!

 

Lady Mechanika 0 and 1

 

Lady Mechanika issues 0 and 1, “The Demon of Satan’s Alley” and “The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse”
Published by Aspen Comics
Writer:  Joe Benitez
Artist:  Joe Benitez
Colors: Peter Steigerwald
Letters: Josh Reed

Release Date: August 2010

To Purchase Online:
For the option of a signed copy of any of the books click here

To order Collected Edition from Joe Benitez through Amazon click here
For the whole first volume either in print or digitally click here

 

Greetings and Salutations readers,

Maria here with a new comic to talk about. I first encountered this series while wandering through Collectors Ink in Chico. Funnily enough the first one I picked up wasn’t either of these, but the first in the latest story arc Clockwork Assassin. I am fairly guilty of judging books by their covers and the art style of this book instantly grabbed me. When free comic day came around and I saw another in the stack I instantly grabbed it, that book was issue 0 The Demon of Satan’s Alley which also included excerpts from The Tablet of Destinies storyline and The Lost Boys of West Abbey. After that I grabbed the next few in that first arc and began reading. I’ve personally never been someone that specifically pursues Steampunk related stories. I have an appreciation for the aesthetic and the creativity (also have a love for corsets cause they’re pretty) but for the most part it’s not a subgenre that I go out of my way to read but when done right it’s awesome and this series definitely has made a fan out of me.

Now the review of Lady Mechanika Issues 0 and 1, drawn and written by Joe Benitez with color by Peter Steigerwald, and letters by Josh Reed.

Now, I am not a good artist by any stretch of the imagination, but goddamn if these books don’t make me want to become a better artist. Every panel is beautifully composed, even when the scene is at an odd angle or the character is making an odd face I still find myself going ‘damn this art is gorgeous’. Only a few comics I’ve read over the years have truly elicited that response from me, where I forget to read and just stare in amazement at the story the art tells and all the little details (Hopefully I’ll write about some of those next). That is something awesome about Steampunk, there’s so many opportunities for interesting and intricate details that really add depth to a universe. A lot of people probably with notice the beautiful protagonist Lady Mechanika, usually dressed in what would be considered scandalous attire in the Victorian-esque universe steampunk lives in. While she is beautiful, that is just a fraction of her capabilities. A strong and intelligent woman, she is known in the area she lives as someone who will take the strange and unusual cases no one else does. As the description above states, she has mechanical limbs. The story takes place via her “Now” and allows us to learn bits of her history as she does with some glimpses into surrounding action that adds to the main story without really giving too much away.

Issue 0 is the first real introduction to Lady Mechanika as she hunts for a creature that has been terrorizing Mechanika City. Her goal is to find this creature and safely capture it before either the locals with more guns than sense or the Blackpool Armaments Co. hired guns kill it. While she gave little credence to the tabloids and the papers, there was a mention that the creature might be Half-Machine. Knowing that Blackpool was dying to get his hand on something like her to dissect and possibly figure out a way to effectively weaponize it she knew she was that creatures best hope. The possibility that this creature might also be able to give her hints to her mysterious past also helped. She manages to find the creature which we find out is more scared and hungry more than anything else. It happily eats an apple she offers. They talk and just as he reveals something about her, he is viciously gunned down. The resulting conflict helps set the antagonists for the next story arc The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse.

The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse takes place a year after the first story and introduces us more to the city the story primarily takes place in. The city of Mechanika is touted as the ‘City of Tomorrow’ the brainchild of the brightest minds of the time (known as The Collective) coming together to create “The grandest city the world has ever seen” and we learn it has only been around for twenty years. As well as introducing Lewis, who’s kind of a Watson to Lady Mechanika’s Holmes with sprinkles of Q since he designed and installed her personal security system in her home.

The story opens in a chase scene, a young girl with talon-like mechanical hands is being pursued by an army of men in black bodysuit gear and goggles. They try to subdue her with stun wands called “lectrods”, they have little effect so they decide it’ll be better to shoot her since it shouldn’t kill her. They shoot her just as she reaches a cliff and falls over the edge onto a train going into the city. The officer responsible for losing her is quickly killed by a woman we learn is called Commander Winter. The girl is discovered at the train station and soon succumbs to her wounds. Onlookers in the train station quickly mistake her for the infamous Lady Mechanika. Commander Winter reports back to her superior that the subject has escaped which reveals that her boss is a character from the last issue who had learned firsthand that you probably shouldn’t piss off Lady Mechanika and has the scars to prove it.

Lady Mechanika upon hearing about the girl in the train station tries to find out as much as she can. Soon she learns where the body is and starts to get ready to find and retrieve it since it has to be tied to her mysterious past. Her plans are delayed momentarily by Lewis who she finds drunk on her couch. He tells her about a case up north they can do involving werewolves or some sort of night creatures, saying it should be easy money. Ignoring him she dons some stealth gear and goes to get the body. The similarities between her and the girl makes her certain she’s found a hint to her past. Before she can escape with the body a mysterious figure takes it from her thus ending issue 1.

The style is beautiful and while the story moves fast it doesn’t really feel rushed. Steigerwald’s coloring is an amazing compliment to Benitez’s detailed art style and I find myself staring at pages trying to learn as much as I can from his use of highlights and textures. I look forward to the day I have all of them gracing my shelves and possibly some prints from Benitez. Currently I do have one Lady Mechanika print done by the amazing Joe Weems that I got at San Francisco Con that we added to our affectionately named Wall of Weems.

That’s all for now. Make sure to check out the other parts of our website for updates on CK Comics awesome vigilante noir comic Caliber, new pages from our dedicated web comics Cybi (pronounced cubby) Knight of the West, and Monster Operatives. Also Check out our Patreon here. Every little bit helps and we’re thinking of new perks all the time and there’s soon to be some big developments in the works between us and our awesome local comic shop Collectors Ink. Talk to you later readers!

-Maria B.