Stuff and Nonsense: Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse


Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse

Alt-Victorian steampunk with an intimidating  and uncompromising female "cyborg" protagonist. What more could I want? Aside from fewer boob cutouts? Fewer trying-too-hard-to-sound-Victorian long-winded exposition dumps that had me skimming ahead? It's unfortunate, because the illustrations are gorgeous -- the detail and coloring of each panel is just WOW -- and the premise is quite compelling.

Lady Mechanika doesn't remember who created her or where she came from, just that she woke up in a basement surrounded by dead bodies. She now spends her time searching out other mechanical entities who might be able to provide information about her past while also rescuing mechanicals being hunted by various anti-tech (destroy) and pro-tech (dismember and study) human organizations and, generally, trying to be a Good Person.

The story can get quite complicated -- hence the exposition dumps, I guess -- as there are many secondary characters and they all have their own stories/plots that need to be told. It's definitely compelling stuff, but felt it would have been better told spread out over more pages as some of story felt a bit rushed. The story and illustrations flirt with a darker, grimmer steampunk alt-Victorian England than I am used to seeing and that was quite refreshing. This isn't a sparkling, clean, optimistic steampunk England, but as dirty, grim, and terrible as the real one could be. I think, if you enjoy TV series like Penny Dreadful or read steampunk horror, you may enjoy Lady Mechanika.

Lady Mechanika, Volume 1 Joe Benitez & Peter Steigerwald ( Benitez Productions, 2015)

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