Lady Mechanika is back in action in Image Comics’ Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #2. Written and illustrated by Joe Benitez, die-hard Lady Mechanika fans should not miss out on this series.
Readers have long wondered about the history of Lady Mechanika. And while we still don’t know the whole story of what happened to her, Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #2 is starting to fill in some of those gaps.
It is also working very hard to shred our hearts along the way. I think most readers always guessed that her backstory would be a dark one, but it would have been difficult to imagine just how far that went.
Lady Mechanika’s series have always been perfect for steampunk, fantasy, and horror fans. But now it seems like there’s room for fans of the precise craft of foreshadowing. Or perhaps it merely feels that way, given how much my spine tingled while reading…
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #2 was written by Joe Benitez, with writing assistance from M.M. Chen. It continues the pattern established in the previous issue, with the story splitting into two parts.
Unlike the last issue, this one seems more deeply invested in the past. Given how much there is to learn, that is hardly a surprise. What is a surprise is how heavily this issue weighs on the heart.
The few times the present becomes the focus feels intentional – there’s a story being told through the transitions as much as anything else. Points are heavily emphasized to ensure they’re stuck firmly in our minds.
Likewise, the contrast between these two timelines is…jarring. Here we see real horror mashed against the shallow horror that comes from manufactured scenes and events (such as carnival houses).
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #2 lives up to the expectations set by the previous incarnations. That is to say; the artwork is exquisite. Joe Benitez is the lead artist, with Beth Sotelo and Sabine Rich providing colors and Michael Heisler doing the lettering.
As always, there’s a merging of steampunk and horror elements. However, this issue is much darker than many other issues, and I mean that both figuratively and literally. There are panels shrouded by darkness. At other times, the brightest of scenes somehow come off as all the more terrifying. It’s beautifully (and horrifically) done.
Joe Benitez’s attention to detail makes the scenes within this issue all the more alarming. Speaking of alarming – the raw emotions Benitez stuffed into specific panels is borderline overwhelming. Consider yourselves warned.
The colors compliment these details, helping them stand out or blend in as necessary. There’s one page, in particular, where the colors bring the impact of the scene to its full potential. It’s a moment that will linger in my mind for quite a while to come.
Michael Heisler provided the final piece to complete this issue: the lettering. Heisler’s style is perfect for this series, as there’s no avoiding the painful crack that comes with pain or the subtle ways in which characters let the truth slip out.
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #2 is a dark and tense issue, but it is also part of a larger whole that many fans have been waiting for. As such, it is the perfect read for anyone who wants to know about Lady Mechanika and her past.