Story: M.M. Chen and Joe Benitez
Pencils: Joe Benitez and Martin Montiel
Digital Inks: Studio J=13
Colors: Beth Sotelo
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Joe Benitez
Publisher: Benitez Productions
The other day someone asked me if I was sick of steampunk yet. Nope, no way! Not when there are just such great tales out there like Lady Mechanika. I do wish that there were more varied settings and characters in the genre, but that is slowly changing. Lady Mechanika is in a typical setting, but it’s adventurous and provocative and in the last eight years, it’s been one of the more captivating books on the shelves of comic stores.
This issue of Lady Mechanika lives up to all of the others, and introduces a promising new arc about our favorite cyborg detective. When Inspector Singh brings some new information to Lady Mechanika, it catapults our main character into a series of events that include a big, spooky house, and a mysterious woman clad in purple. The plot is alluring, the dialogue is strong, and the cast is wonderfully engaging, if not all that diverse. If there were any snafus in the text, I didn’t catch them this time, as I was so into the story.
The visuals, as is custom with this title, are stunning. The artists are master panelists, designing page after page of dynamic layouts and highly detailed images. I love the organization; it’s original and powerful, with many panels shaped like shards from a mirror, and others with drawings overlapping scenes to great effect, all of them framed with gears and pipes. The colors are fine, though there could be more contrast between the shading and highlights, and the letters are professionally done.
The whole book is immersive, from start to finish. The first issue of La Belle Dame Sans Merci has me excited for the next in the arc. It is a great addition to what is already an enchantingly brilliant set of stories.