Lady Mechanika – The Tablet of Destinies #0

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Cláudia Carvalho

If you have ever wanted to check out the world of Steampunk, this comic book is definitely for you. It blends stunning artwork with very smart writing, along with a glimpse into the world of Steampunk, villains, and an antagonist who fits very much the title of the comic book. It reads matching a detective comic book as we follow our mechanical heroine through some unbelievable circumstances as she searches for the truth behind the emergence of another mechanical girl. If that sort of thing intrigues you, then you have come to the right place.

I have been an enthusiast of Aspen Comics for a long time now, thanks to the splendid talent that was Michael Turner. And when it was introduced that a Steampunk inspired comic books was being created by Soulfire writer, Joe Benitez, and Aspen Comics co-founder and awesome colorist, Peter Steigerwald, I knew that immediately I had to add this title to my pull list.

Unfortunately, the fairytale was not meant to be due to unforeseen delays in Joe Benitez’s release of the third chapter, which personally, was reminiscent of Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass series. But when a new issue emerged, I could not help from being thrilled to continue reading the story of the mechanical woman. The title series has long been completed; the final issue was released in March of 2015, and Joe Benitez has moved on to a new story arc called Tablet of Destinies. I recently finished the 5-issue run of Joe Benitez’ first creator-owned property, and thus brings us to this review.

I must admit that the first few issues were tough to get through. The main reason being how much dialogue there was in each panel. This did not hinder me from getting through the comic but it was very daunting at the beginning. But the entirety of the dialogue was very smart. The best word to describe it is: sophisticated. Since this is my first foray into the world of Steampunk, I am not too savvy with the Victorian-mosque proper way of speaking with each other but it definitely keeps you ingrained in this world.

And the artwork does its job as well. Joe Benitez’ characters are both vibrant and tasteful, as he actually goes into each individual’s core in a very quick way that is not rushed at all, and best of all, keeps the flow of the story going beautifully. Speaking of vibrant, the villains Lady Mechanic encounters are just that. They remind me of the James Bond villains of old who had been named as Odd Job and Jaws. Joe Benitez’ villains share mechanical attributes that not only makes them more menacing but also grounds this world, making the reader believe this reality of half mechanical, half human individuals exist. And personally, this five issue run is just a taste of what this world can offer a reader’s imagination.

Lady Mechanika is at the heart, a detective story. The story begins with a mechanical corpse found in a train station. No, that is not our title character. But she does make her entrance in the most courteous way calling on a doctor friend of sorts at his home as he and his daughter traveled to Mechanika City for the innovation conference, appropriately named Mechani-Con. The story whirlwinds from here as we are introduced to many other characters, along with villains, as the story plays out.

Even though this first story arc took awhile to be released in single issues, it still is worth the read. Particularly with the possible future of this world since Joe Benitez says it will be an on-going series under his production company, Benitez Productions. The first arc does a great job of introducing us to Lady Mechanika and keeps us wanting more as the story plays out. The addition of Benitez’ excellent artwork and Steigerwald’s fantastic colors makes this worthy of any short box.

If you want a change of pace with sophisticated writing set in a world of steampunk, eccentric villains, and of course, a dense mechanical heroine, then check out Lady Mechanika.

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