Lady Mechanika #0 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 6.0
Art 9.0
Value 9.0
Total 8.0
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Release Date: 6/10/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Troy Mayes

8.0


Lady Mechanika #0

First things first, this book has absolutely amazing value. A collection of variant covers and, for what must be the first time in comic book history, two recipes (you read that right) for food that is vaguely related to the comic. That alone is almost reason enough to buy the issue but what about the actual story? 

For me Lady Mechanika has a really cool setting, a steampunk influenced 19th century England, but the story and the main character seemed a little bit too familiar. The titular Lady Mechanika is a hunter/bounty-hunter/assassin who has no memory of who she is and where she’s come from. She also has no idea how she has a mechanical arm. Issue zero sees Mechanika hunting down the Demon of Satan’s Alley not for sport but because the demon is rumored to be part mechanical, just like her and maybe it will be able to unlock part of her past. The demon has been attacking locals so that, coupled with the mechanical rumor, means that Mechanika isn’t the only one hunting the creature armaments magnate Lord Blackpool is also seeking it. 

Everything is unique to the setting. Mechanika is a very strong woman, both physically (gloriously socking one of Blackpool’s thugs) and emotionally (she doesn’t let any man tell her what to do) while she’s also vulnerable and not completely heartless. That vulnerability actually interests me the most. Her particular quest is also unique, I don’t know of too many half mechanical people existing in the 19th century, but the overriding idea of a strong female character and a character seeking the mystery of her past has been done before countless times in comics. Also the villain who seeks the gifts the main character received from that mysterious past also has an air of being done before. For me the setting managed to overshadow everything else and was far more interesting, which isn’t exactly what you want to happen.  

While the story didn’t have much of a punch the artwork certainly did. Mechanika is not only a strong woman but quite a sexy one while Joe Benitez’s artwork really sells the steampunk look with the design of all the technology on use and the clothes worn. I also liked the way that this particular issue mainly took place in what looks like a dark sewer and the color has a bluey-gray hue to it. There’s good framing and composition, often used to highlight something specific, and the way the book displayed gunshots was quite good. The characters become a silhouette while the background goes slightly red so the entry point of the bullet is really highlighted without having to resort to lots of gore. I did think the demon looked a little too baby Hellboy-ish but on the whole this is a very well drawn and colored book.  

Lady Mechanika #0 presents an interesting setting that is fully realized in the brilliant artwork. The story seems a little too tried and tested and I’d like to see Benitez take some more risks in the future and present us with things we wouldn’t expect. That being said Mechanika, as a character, has just enough about her to draw you in for further issues making it a successful issue zero. Plus, you can make steampunk cookies, how crazy is that?






 
 



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