Lady Mechanika is a steampunk comic created, written and drawn by Joe Benitez. “Steampunk” is a sub-genre of science fiction, typically set in the 19th century Victorian era or the American Wild West, that features steam-powered machines and devices. The fiction, however, has expanded into art, fashion, music, etc, and has become its own sub-culture. Now, I’m not an obsessive fan of steampunk, but, I get the allure, especially when sexy Victorian women are involved!
Lady Mechanika was originally published by Aspen Comics, but, the series stalled with issue #3. However, the original series will continue, with issue #4, with another publisher, soon. In addition, Benitez is working on a new series called The Lady Mechanika Mysteries. I am very excited for both!
Lady Mechanika is, for me, quintessential steampunk. The story is exciting, and filled with a sense of adventure (like a Jules Verne novel), while the artwork is wonderfully dark and industrial-influenced. Lady Mechanika, the character, is part human, part machine, beautiful and deadly. She works as a special investigator, in late 1800s England, while trying to unravel the mysteries of her arcane past. Lady Mechanika, like most Victorian women, has poise, but, unlike most Victorian women, she is skilled with various weaponry and the arts of ass-kickery.
In Issue #0 (“The Demon of Satan’s Alley”), set in 1878, Lady Mechanika searches for a creature terrorizing the East End. However, Nathaniel Blackpool, of Blackpool Armaments, and his hired guns arrive, much to the Lady‘s dismay, and kill the creature. But, the real real story begins one year later …
In Issue #1 (“The Mystery of the Mechanical Girl: Chapter One”), a young mechanical girl wanders into Mechanika, “The City of Tomorrow”, and dies. Lady Mechanika solicits the whereabouts of the girl’s body from Dr. Charles Littleton, who is in town for Mechanicon, and worked with Nathaniel Blackpool one year earlier. The Lady breaks into the Ministry of Health to steal the mechanical girl’s body in hopes that it will reveal secrets about her past, but, she is assaulted by a mysterious figure who takes the body from her, and disappears.
In Issue #2 (“The Mystery of the Mechanical Girl: Chapter Two”), Lady Mechanika encounters an old “friend” Commander Winter, a one-eyed mercenary who works for Blackpool Armaments, and learns that the mysterious figure was a man named Mr. Cain, an inventor who is also known as “The Engineer”. Now, the Lady, with the help of her associate Mr. Lewis, sets out to solve the mystery. She believes the girl was dropped from an airship over Darqueshire Woods, but, first, her path leads to Cirque du Romani, a gypsy sideshow.
In Issue #3 (“The Mystery of the Mechanical Girl: Chapter Three”), Lady Mechanika meets Madame Divinite, the owner of Cirque du Romani, and learns that the mechanical girl was, in fact, one of theirs. Her name was Seraphina, youngest daughter of performer Gitano and sister of Arliquinn. And, Madame Divinite believes that Seraphina is, possibly, not dead. Later, at the opening of Mechanicon, Nathaniel Blackpool unveils “the first mechanical marvel of the world… the Helio Arx!” The Lady believes that the Nautilus-esque airship is the one in which the mechanical girl was dropped from.
In Issue #4 – oh, wait! Soon, I hope!