REVIEW: ‘Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell,’ Issue #1

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Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1

Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Joe Benitez and M. M. Chen, art by Joe Benitez and Martin Montiel, colors by Beth Sotelo, and letters by Michael Heisler. Finding themselves at the Founder’s Day Fair, Lady Mechanika and Fred are joined by Allie and her father to take in the sights and sounds of the festivities. However, Allie is soon struck with a pain in her legs that causes grave concern in her father. While the youngsters take a break to see if Allie’s health improves enough for them to continue, Lady Mechanika tells Allie’s father a story about her earliest memories.

Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 delivers an uncomfortable tale of Victorian-Era torture, counter-balanced by the warmth and kindness experienced through its early scene at the Founder’s Day Fair. As my first experience with this series, this juxtaposition is striking. Especially with how it presents Lady Mechanika and what it says about her.

When the story opens, my first impression of our lead protagonist is of one who is a bit distant. She is shown standing at rigid attention, despite the relaxed atmosphere around her. When Allie’s illness flares up, however, her attitude is far warmer and caring than my initial impression had me expecting. This is even truer when Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 sees her comforting Allie’s distressed father. His concerns over the cause of his daughter’s malady, while ridiculous, are neither scoffed at nor spurned. Rather, they are handled with the greatest of care and reassurance.

This introduction to Lady Mechanika furthers the story’s impact when it jumps back in time to the Lady’s earliest memories of herself being confined to some sort of asylum. Anyone with even the most passing knowledge of Victorian-Era medicine knows what real-life horrors were visited on people, let alone in one that blends those horrors with a world of steampunk and the supernatural.

The writing throughout Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 brings these emotions to the reader flawlessly. From the kindness and concern of the fairground scene to the pain and fear of the past, each moment is crafted wonderfully through its writing.

While the writing does its job admirably, it is the art that truly sells this story. From the gorgeously detailed steampunk setting and attire to every emotional display that graces its panels, the art never falls short of delivering everything the story strives to achieve. This detail and emotion are largely enabled by the art’s willingness to put the viewer right in the middle of each scene. Every gentle touch and torturous moment is put front and center for the reader to experience.

The art is further enhanced by the amazing colors throughout the book. Each scene is delivered with a color palette that augments the tone therein perfectly.

Wrapping up Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1‘s presentation is the letters. The lettering delivers the story through a straightforward approach that keeps everything laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow manner.

When all is said and done, Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 delivers an emotional and intriguing start to its narrative. Despite never having visited this world before, I find myself captivated by its lead and her story. I may just have to look into catching up on some of this character’s history when I visit my LCS this Wednesday.

Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #1 delivers an emotional and intriguing start to its narrative. Despite never having visited this world before, I find myself captivated by its lead and her story.