Lady Mechanika is a creator-owned comic book series by Joe Benitez, inspired by the steampunk genre. “Steampunk” is all about re-imagining history, usually combining the elegance of the Victorian Era with more advanced science fiction technology.
The tabloids dubbed her “Lady Mechanika“, the sole survivor of a mad scientist’s horrific experiments which left her with mechanical limbs. Having no memory of her captivity or her former life, Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. But she never stopped searching for the answers to her own past.
Set in turn of the century England, a time when magic and superstition clashed with new scientific discoveries and inventions, Lady Mechanika is about a young woman’s search for her own identity as she solves other mysteries involving science and the supernatural.
I’m going to start off by saying that I typically go straight for comic books that I’m familiar with. It’s always the big ones for Marvel and DC that we all know and love. Occasionally, I’ll check out another book that someone has told me about over time, but usually I’m not the browsing type. I may change that…
Upon entering my local comic shop, I was looking at a few of the older DC comics that came out. On the newer release shelf something caught my eye… (Pictured above) Lady Mechanika The Tablet of Destinies, caught my eye. I love super detailed art work… and have been a HUGE fan of anything steampunk ever since I was first introduced to Studio Ghibli’s movies. I love the style and always enjoyed stories surrounding such universes.
I picked up the book and flipped through it… I was honestly impressed. In most cases, the artwork on the cover is a lot better than what is actually inside the comic. I don’t know why that is, but there’s almost always a quality image on the cover, with the interior being almost completely different…
As you can see, the artwork is beyond dazzling. You could easily and justifiably use almost any of these images as the cover of one of their books. You can honestly see that these indie comics are a labor of love for the people who make them.
On to the story, honestly, I would say that this is a cross between Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes, set in Steampunk Europe of the 19th Century. Lady Mechanika at times has that very stoic, unshakable temperament that we see from Holmes, but she is haunted by a past that won’t go away. I won’t give away much here, but we do see her haunted by her past, which is a mystery she is trying to unfold while solving other cases as well.
Unlike most comics, this isn’t a serial that goes on and on like most comics. It’s divided into several mini series (Again… like the Holmes novels). Each one is a different case and a different story, all of which are tied together by Mechanika’s past, which she is trying to solve;
The Demon of Satan’s Alley
The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse
The Tablet of Destinies
The Lost Boys of West Abbey
La Dama De La Muerte
Each of these series is usually between 2-6 issues. Unfortunately, this also means that there is a brief period between production where no comic is released. Usually this spans a few months before the next set comes out. Given the detail and the amount of work that goes into the comics, I fully get why, but its hard for those of us who love these stories.
It also makes finding back issues hard. The runs are limited and for a popular series… that means higher prices on ebay as they get older. I could go on and on about these, but really, I don’t want to spoil anything. This is an incredible series. If you like mysteries, adventure, fantasy, and/or steampunk… yeah this is one series that is a must for your collection!
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