Creator, Writer, Artist: Joe Benitez | Colors: Peter Steigerwald | Letters: Josh Reed | Editor: Vince Hernandez | Cover Art: Joe Benitez, Peter Steigerwald (Cover A & C); J. Scott Campbell, Peter Steigerwald (Cover B & D); Joe Benitez, Peter Steigerwald (Cover E) | Publisher: Aspen MLT
What Is It About?
This issue opens up a year after the events of Lady Mechanika #0 and another female child arrives in the city of Mechanika with similar mechanical features as the city’s famed Lady Mechanika, but the child does not fare the same fate as Lady Mechanika upon her arrival years ago.
There are a number of new titles that I am excited and patiently waiting to read. Lady Mechanika is one of those titles, and is so for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is the enjoyment that I got out of reading the zero issue that came out in October. The story and art was so amazing that it left me wanting more, but wondering could this issue match that zero issue’s wonderment? Just a few pages in to this issue the answer was clearly – yes!
The next reason I really was excited to read this issue was the hook that the previous issue left us with. Lady Mechanika taking down a hunting party and leaving only a few survivors to “live to tell” was definitely something that was pretty interesting to see, but it was hard to believe that we wouldn’t see the survivors any time soon. What surprised me is that while this issue opens up a year after last issue ended, we are immediately re-introduced to Dr. Charles Littleton who was the doctor from the last issue. Mechanika makes a comment to Littleton that his arrival in to her city just at the same time as a mechanical corpse arrives seems a little fishy, and she is probably right.
The mystery that Joe Benitez is creating in just a few pages is impressive to read because it seems so effortless for him to build up so quickly. If there is something that does show Benitez is still getting his dialogue under control is the large amount of dialogue in this issue. In the few pages that Lady Mechanika and Dr. Littleton speak to one another there is a large number of dialogue bubbles. I don’t want to make this out to be a criticism – it’s not. I have a good feeling we’ll begin to see these large pieces of dialogue slim down as Benitez develops this series and the relationship between the various characters. For now, the writing is very good and the story’s pacing and progression is great.
The art in this issue is as solid as the zero issue, and really helps develop the story nicely. While we saw a number of splash pages in the previous issue, this issue seems to cut those down a little, but it does not take all of them away. When Benitez has the chance, he lays out some really great two-page spreads and really lets the art breath on the page. His work is so good, and so consistent. There isn’t a bad page in the whole issue, and I think that has as much to do with Benitez’s art as it does with Peter Steigerwald’s amazing colors.
I can’t imagine what it is like for Steigerwald to put something like this book together. The color palette is rich and vibrant and really helps set a great overall tone and look for the book that I think would really be missing if this was a black & white or one or two-tone book. I can tell that given the chance, Steigerwald is going to rock it out with this series!
Lady Mechanika #1 is a great issue and really provides action, mystery, suspense, and solid entertainment from page to page. Joe Benitez is really pouring his heart and soul in to this book and you can easily tell and appreciate it. Highly Recommended!