The beloved Lady Mechanika returns in Image Comics’ latest series, Lady Mechanika: The Monser of the Ministry of Hell #1. Written and illustrated by Joe Benitez, this is the beginning of an adventure we’ve all been waiting for.
So in case my intro didn’t make it painfully clear: I am a huge Lady Mechanika fangirl. If you have not been lucky enough to read any of the previous series, I would strongly urge that you do so! Especially as this latest one relies very heavily on previous plots and character arcs.
As the title implies, Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1 is the first in a new miniseries focusing on the one and only – Lady Mechanika. Her fans have long gotten used to a volume popping up here and there.
However, this series is a bit different. You see, we’re finally going to learn a bit more about Lady Mechanika’s past. Until now, much of it had been shrouded in mystery. The leading lady and readers don’t know how she came to be so altered, though that is likely to change soon.
As it turns out, the truth may be even darker than we could have anticipated. This is saying something, given the predilection of the series thus far. Time to dive on in and finally get some answers, yes?
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1 was written by Joe Benitez, with writing assistance from M.M. Chen. Much of the issue is split into two distinct points in time: the past and the present.
The past unfolds as if listening to a story, with Lady Mechanika taking up the narrative. It’s dark and gritty – even more so than I had anticipated. This part of the story is turning out to be surprisingly complex, and yet it still feels like we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
In stark contrast to this would be the present, where Lady Mechanika is safely walking in the light of day. At a fair, of all things. This transition is jarring, intentionally so. It also serves as a reminder of how far she has come—and a reminder of her safety when we look back to darker times.
There are three more issues left to this series, and thus three more issues full of revelations and details. This is good, as I currently have even more questions than I did going into this issue. On the bright side, this is perfect proof that I’ve once again become invested in the tale. I’m certain I won’t be the only one feeling that way.
As a whole, Lady Mechanika has always been a series known for its stunning artwork. Pick up any random issue, and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Each one is a masterpiece, especially the covers.
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1 is a heady blend of steampunk aesthetic and horror. Likewise, it doesn’t shy away from the more gruesome imagery that comes alongside this plot – so do consider yourself warned.
Joe Benitez was the lead artist for this issue, with art assists from Martin Montiel. Benitez’s work is stunning as always. The sheer attention to detail on every page is borderline overwhelming, creating a feast for the eyes. What is most impressive, alongside the obvious, is how delicately Benitez handles the gore. While it is obviously present, it never crosses the line into grotesquery.
Beth Sotelo provided the colors, and wow, do they have an effect on the tone here! They are very much in line with a classic steampunk color palette, with a strong horror influence here and there. It’s a perfect balance.
Finally, there’s the lettering, crafted by Michael Heisler. I love Heisler’s style, as it makes heavy use of sound effects, colors, and the implication of texture to make the world (and words) come to life.
Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1 brings fans back into the fold, yet it somehow has managed to up the ante. Readers are more excited than ever to learn of Lady Mechanika’s backstory. I, for one, will be counting down the days until the next release.