I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lady Mechanika Volume One: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez (Written and Drawn), Peter Steigerwald (Color) and Josh Reed (Letters)

Previously I reviewed Satan's Alley (http://nicolewbrown.blogspot.com/2017/05/lady-mechanicka-demon-of-satans-alley.html) which is included in here and is where Lady Mechanika first meets up with Lord Blackpool the villain in this one.  A young girl with mechanical arms escapes from some guards and makes it all the way to Mechanika City to the train station where a doctor and his daughter see her and he tries to treat her, but she is dead.  Lady Mechanika gets word of this girl and goes to see the doctor and his daughter who does not believe that she is actually Lady Mechanika because she is dressed in a "frumpy" lady's dress rather than something dashing and heroic like the ones she has been reading about.  The doctor once worked for Blackpool, but he insists it was just for the one expedition in Satan's Alley.  He tells her he is only in town for Mechani-Con where scientists and inventors present their discoveries that year and hope for buyers.  She asks him if he was able to examine her and if she was like her or not and he tells her that the girl was a cruder version.  He also tells her that the Ministry of Health has her now.

Lady Mechanika breaks into the Ministry of Health to get a better look at her and to steal her body.  She finds a Romani earring on her and takes it off and pockets it.  As she is taking her out a blast knocks her back and someone takes the young girl from her.  When she gets up she is faced by Commander Katherine Winter and her goons who work for Blackpool who were there to get the body too but have missed their chance as well.  Winter and Mechanika have a history. After Mechanika was found after being held a prisoner by the madman who created her for who knows how long, she was placed inside a cell in the Ministry of Health because she was deemed not safe for humanity.  Winter helped her escape from there and showed her "the ways of the world".  But bad things happened and they parted ways on bad terms.  But because of that Mechanika spares her life when she gets the drop on her after killing her men in the tunnel.

When she gets back to her home, Mr. Lewis, her sometimes sidekick, and inventor is drunk again. She asks him if he has heard of a Mr. Cain, the name of an inventor that the doctor told her about who could be the man who created her and the girl.  He tells her Cain was known as the Engineer and was highly revered and worked on things that no one could imagine and that he was quite mad.  Could Cain be working for Blackpool? Or does he have his own agenda?

When she follows up on the earring she finds not only is the girl not the only Romani missing but that they believe that she is still alive.  Now she has to track down the missing Romani and go try to stop Blackpool and whatever he is up to.  I just love the drawing in this comic. They stay true to the Victorian steampunk roots they are going for including the ancient yellowed boxes with curlicued lettering.  The plot is really good and keeps you guessing all the way to the end.

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Mechanika-Mystery-Mechanical-Corpse-ebook/dp/B06Y39X198/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497017587&sr=8-1&keywords=lady+mechanika+volume+1

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