Lady Mechanika, Volume 1 Review
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Lady Mechanika is a steampunk story in graphic novel form, and if you like steampunk, you’re likely to enjoy it. If you don’t like steampunk, the odds are still in favor of liking it.

Lady Mechanika, who has no other name and no memory beyond a short while ago, has become a well-known monster hunter. She hunts monsters who might give her a clue as to who she is and why she came to be this way.

She started human—and pretty—and though she’s still pretty, her arms are now mechanical and her eyes have red irises and black corneas. So when the opportunity comes up, she hunts down a mechanical demon who’s terrorizing a neighborhood.

The thing, named Ucky, is small and hungry. He remembers her from when she was younger and she named him—and then he gets his brains blown out. That sets up a hunt for mysteries, for justice, and for revenge.

So it’s a reader’s empathy wrapped in sympathy wrapped in curiosity about a mystery wrapped in concern about who this person really is. I’ve seen worse packages on the printed page—quite often, actually.

The characters are engaging. Every one of them has virtues and flaws. In the villains, the flaws dominate; in the heroes, the virtues dominate. And in one case on either side, the margin is really thin. This is a neat trick because it draws our attention to the characters. No two characters are alike—and, more importantly, no two of them have the same motivation.

These people look like they should: the gorgeous Captain Winters, the somber, reserved Lord Blackpool, and the dissolute, lovelorn mechanical genius, Lewis. Every one of them could sustain their own story, but in this they add to Mechanika’s tale—and that helps to make the story even more interesting.

The artwork is splendidly sumptuous, and it complements the writing. For example, the palette and use of shadow shifts over time as the plot moves from back streets of London to large homes to a masquerade on an impressively large and ornate airship. Blues and grays are the order of the day, since mysteries are solved in the dark. Confrontations and fights, on the other hand, tend to be in brighter colors because, when sparks fly, they illuminate things.

All of the designs carry an impressive Victorian feel rather than a modern feel with gears attached. This is the case even with advanced technology, such as when the characters use tasers. The technology is delightfully period. It’s not just gears on top; there are detailed decorations which set the mood of the era. It’s all nicely done.

This volume is recommended—and I, personally, already have a standing order at my local comic book shop for the next volume.

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