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Early Review: Lady Mechanika #1

Check out the review and exclusive pages from the first issue!

Like many of you, I too have been looking forward to the release of the first issue of Lady Mechanika. This was primarily due to the art in the solicitations since I first saw some of it at San Diego Comic-Con. Not only is the preview art drop dead gorgeous--the entire issue is absolutely breathtaking. Everything from the vibrant colors, intricate details and the near perfect anatomy of the characters is nothing short of incredible. It isn't often that art can take my breath away, but Joe Benitez definitely does that here; sucking me into his steam-punk little world, set in 19th Century England. Every scene is filled with intense colors that effortlessly capture the mood and state of the story which transitions smoothly and eloquently from one setting to the next. His ability to tell a story through his art makes the use of location bubbles unnecessary. Visually, this is one of the best books I've seen in a very long time.  

The first issue of Lady Mechanika starts off well-- introducing characters who will likely dominate the series within the first couple of pages. The issue opens up with a young girl on the run from her captors, who have clearly operated on her. The girl has been transformed from a human to a cyborg-like-creature who is half woman, half machine--with long metal arms likening to steel claws. The narration that we see in the first few pages of this issue make you think that the young girl on the run is the primary character--but we quickly learn that is not the case. The young girl is relevant to the story, however; we learn that she could be the key to Lady Mechanika's origins.
== TEASER ==
The story's central character, Lady Mechanika, seems to be a kind of hero/vigilante--and while Benitez's artistic depiction of this new heroine is definitely sexy, with her pouty lips and voluptuous physique--she isn't over-sexualized. This is KEY! As a female reader, I want my heroine to be tough, sexy, brave and bold--but I don't want her to be a total skank. There is a thin line between tastefully sexy and, well, not, and Benitez is a master. I love Lady Mechanika. This is exactly the type of female character I want to be reading. While sex sells books, Lady Mechanika clearly doesn't need it.

The story is definitely not the most intricate, and isn't at all a tough read--this is not Alan Moore or Grant Morrison. The story line seems to be pretty plainly and clearly defined within the first few pages of the book and won't take a lot of thought to decipher--but that's okay. Not every comic reading experience should be a puzzle or a challenge, and Benitez's art more than makes up for some of the more simple attributes of this first issue. There were a few moments where I found myself wishing for a little bit more complexity in the dialogue and the story, but honestly, it wasn't really a big deal.

The first scene where we see Lady Mechanika is brilliant. She has a brooding and sophisticated air about her that is so alluring, and she has a great rapport with Professor Littleton's daughter. The first issue definitely ends on a high note, leaving you wondering what will happen next. Don't be surprised if you find yourself begging for more.
 
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5

Lady Mechanika #1 hits stores on December 8th, 2010.

Check out the exclusive images of Lady Mechanika #1 below, and let us know if you think you'll be picking it up next Wednesday!

 















48 Comments Refresh
Edited by Hamz

The art is gorgeous and I heartily agree in that it manages to have sex appeal but in a tasteful manner. Sort of similar to how Catwoman is often sexy but in a more classy manner than Black Cat who has half her chest hanging out at every opportunity! :P  
 
Second post today calling a robot lady sexy. Pretty sure I need to go see someone for help about that...

Posted by RalfvdH

ok .... I've seen the covers....
 
Now I've seen the interiors  I'm really interested in this series.
 But I think I'm gonna wait for the TPB

Posted by fajkimajki

Looks promising. Gotta put my hands on her.

Posted by No_Name_
@Hamz said:
  Second post today calling a robot lady sexy. Pretty sure I need to go see someone for help about that... "
LOL!
Posted by Vance Astro

I'm glad this got a good score from you Babs.I was actually planning on picking this up.I don't usually step outside of Marvel and DC but something about this makes me think it will be a good read.

Moderator
Posted by Decept-O

Simply incredible stuff.  Glad this is getting a positive review, because when Sara first interviewed Joe Benitez, I loved the concept behind it and then saw some of his art and really became interested.   
 
I sincerely hope I can get this comic, amongst so many others I need to catch up on.....
Posted by p3lon_

I'm really feeling the art to this.

Posted by Baron_Emo

This looks particularly cool too me. I will definitely check it out and try to find the #0. 

Posted by Om1kron

I'll give it a look but if anything the colors will probably get on my nerves. Top Cow loves to overdo it on the texture overlays or underlays and what not. like the skirt of the first image in your exclusive preview. 
 
Drives me nuts!   

Posted by savri

Thanks Babs! 
for such an in-depth review of what looks to be a great piece of art. I plan on picking it up, I just have some speculation if the plot art can keep up with the cover art, if so then it is a winner. Some nice pages you have showed us!

Posted by Danial79

I have been waiting for this one, so I'm glad it got such a good score! Thanks, Babs!!

Posted by mpgeist

Do want, I like teh sexy dangerous ladies!  Hopefully my LCS has it next week.

Posted by No_Name_
@Om1kron said:
" I'll give it a look but if anything the colors will probably get on my nerves. Top Cow loves to overdo it on the texture overlays or underlays and what not. like the skirt of the first image in your exclusive preview.  Drives me nuts!    "
This is Aspen, but I know what you're saying. But there isn't any of that in the other pages I posted.
Posted by Om1kron
@Babs said:
" @Om1kron said:
" I'll give it a look but if anything the colors will probably get on my nerves. Top Cow loves to overdo it on the texture overlays or underlays and what not. like the skirt of the first image in your exclusive preview.  Drives me nuts!    "
This is Aspen, but I know what you're saying. But there isn't any of that in the other pages I posted. "
Tomato, Tomatoe. Top Cow, Aspen lol. 
Posted by Pizawle

Wow. It looks so cool. I passed on #0 but I may still add this to my stack.

Posted by Asymmetrical

I enjoyed the #0 issue so I'm definitely checking this out

Posted by antiterra
@Hamz said:
" Second post today calling a robot lady sexy. Pretty sure I need to go see someone for help about that... "

Hey, robot ladies need some lovin', too.

... What? Don't judge me.

Posted by Mumbles

seems cool, not sure if i would buy it monthly....maybe a trade

Posted by Catastrophic

Dude! I'm sold! :D

Posted by Amegashita

  I like the art.

Posted by fenixREVOLUTION

Can't wait for this, really liked the zero issue. Thought it went on sale this week though. >.<

Edited by Don_Prudenzio

I agree that a comic should not be a challenge or puzzle to read. But what is a challenge to read? I don't consider a story with depth and interesting character development a challenge. I'm a bit disappointed that this comic looks indeed great, but apparantly at a slight cost. But maybe that's too much to ask.

Posted by greenenvy

You know I am noticing a steam punk feel for this. 

Posted by NXH

POW!!  Very sexy ;)

Posted by Eyz

Sounds and looks fantastic!
Those covers are amazing!

Posted by kimi74
@RalfvdH said:
" ok .... I've seen the covers....  Now I've seen the interiors  I'm really interested in this series.  But I think I'm gonna wait for the TPB "
Agree...
Posted by Queen's Halo

I would buy it but getting Aspen books delivered to me is a nightmare. I'll wait for the trade.

Posted by Red L.A.M.P.

I specifically like the art of the alternate covers you posted.  I'd love to see the interior panels capture that gritty steam punk look.

Posted by ComicMan24

The art looks amazing.

Posted by RandyFemrite
@Om1kron:
Don't forget Joe Benitez once worked for Top Cow (Aphrodite IX?), as well as Michael Turner. 
Art is like music; most everyone has an influence or a connection to the past, in one way or another.
Posted by Gabe_Fox

I haven't been to the comic shop in nearly a year.  This looks to be the book that drags me back down that rabbit hole.  Lovely work.

Posted by Iron Apollo
I love steam punk, so yeah I'll be picking it up!
Posted by chadster1975

Love it!

Edited by frogjitsu

I can't wait for this to come out.  It's always nice to branch out of the realm of traditional Super Heroes outside the Big Two, and Benitez is awesome!  I've been avoiding the comic book store lately, and sticking to the comics I subscribe to, but this comic may drag me back there.  Hopefully I don't spend to much money while I'm there.

Posted by MatKrenz

Im might drop into my shop and see if they have it in stock.
Edited by Om1kron

If anyone is interested in seeing more of Joes work you can check out his Deviant Art page here.  http://joebenitez.deviantart.com/# 
 
Just a heads up a lot of comic book artists are uploading pre-post production work even before books come out, obviously omitting stories or anything too revealing. Sometimes it's nice to see the work before it's inked or colored to see how much it changes through the processes.  
 
@RandyFemrite said: 

@Om1kron: Don't forget Joe Benitez once worked for Top Cow (Aphrodite IX?), as well as Michael Turner. Art is like music; most everyone has an influence or a connection to the past, in one way or another. "

Yeah he used to draw one of their flagship titles, weapon zero or something. Each studio for image comics always hired artists who emulated the artwork of the studio head. Marc Sylvestri hired people who drew like him, Jim Lee hired artists who drew like him Ryan Benjamin, Travis Charest, Rob Liefield hired Stephen Plat (who actually didn't suck at anatomy), etc, etc.    
 
That's why Image comics was such a powerhouse in the 90's, now I don't know where they stand.  
 
But everyone who branched off to do their own thing have amazing stories to tell and still do their new intellectual properties pretty much in a similar fashion as their old stuff. 
Posted by extrememage

steam punk has never really appealed to me but this looks great. the art is brilliant
Posted by pinchpaker29

Im loving the art. The girl reminded me of edward scissorhands though. :D

Posted by RemyLeBeau

awesome stuff

Posted by sweatboy

:P~ that's hot

Posted by misterz173
@savri said:
" Thanks Babs! for such an in-depth review of what looks to be a great piece of art. I plan on picking it up, I just have some speculation if the plot art can keep up with the cover art, if so then it is a winner. Some nice pages you have showed us! "
I agree. I definitely want to pick up and read this comic, It looks like Machine Man and Elektra all rolled into one.
Posted by ComiCCloseup

You like an Aspen book?  I want to check this out... also might prefer it in trade.. don't know.  If I get singlr issues you never know with Aspen how many months it's going to be until the next one. or is that just with Blue Descent?  Does anyone know why that title is taking so long with issue # 2?

Posted by Asymmetrical
@ComiCCloseup: I think a lot of Aspen comics take a while, or at least they're not on a monthly schedule
Posted by davidhofmeister1

The #0 issue was sweet, and this looks to be awsome as well.
Posted by blackcat_hull

really big fan of cyberpunk and steampunk literature, and I've been waiting for a decent comic to take the wors and translate them into images...and these look awesome. Just hope the story isn't too cliched with old London town etc.

Posted by B'Town

I haven't been this excited to start a new book since Ignition City.  That is another book where the covers blew me away and I pulled it,  because of absolute gorgeous-ness.

Posted by Raven0207

This book is a great read from cover to cover and the artwork is some of Joe's greatest in his career.

Posted by ComaCalm

I read this and loved it immediately. Will be buying the rest and I hope everyone else loves it too!