Review - Lady Mechanika #2

It's probably been an agonizing six months or so for Lady Mechanika fans. Aspen hyped the series last summer and it's been six months since the first issue was released, leaving fans of the strong introduction wondering where did Lady Mechanika go? Well good things come to those who wait as Lady Mechanika #2 is finally hitting stores July 13. Will it be worth the wait?

"The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse" is the story arc of note here as Lady Mechanika contines to investigate, well, a mechanical corpse. Lady Mechanika #1 opened with a young girl on the run who just so happens to have metal claws where her arms and hands should be. She has a proclivity for violence and unleashes said claws on a crew of soldiers after her.

The soldiers are lead by Catherine, a commander of sorts who is credited with rescuing Lady Mechanika a long time ago. This issue presents their somewhat strenuous relationship and characterizes Catherine as a leader who hides behind her power. Naturally, that's the best quality in a leader. Lady Mechanika's path crosses with Catherine's in her investigation of the girl and information about Lady Mechanika's origin.

This was the bulk of the issue- Lady Mechanika and Catherine hashing out their past. Sure there is some gunplay and flying machines, but other than that this issue is clearly moving pieces into place. The reader is also introduced to Cain (aka The Engineer) through the drunk and frightened Mr. Lewis. The Engineer will no doubt play a pivotal role in explaining the origins of Lady Mechanika, but as of now the reader has to be content with fearing his power.

The star of the show here is Joe Benitez, but he's also most likely the reason you're reading the book anyway. He pulls triple duty in creating, writing and illustrating Lady Mechanika #2 and the art is jawdropping. Peter Steigerwald uses bold colors that also accent the storytelling very well, while the lettering by Josh Reed is diverse.

The writing is more on the expository side though, which is great for telling the facts but leaves little to the imagination. The issue is a little wordy and at the end we really don't know that much more about Lady Mechanika. Yes, Cain/The Engineer seems foreboding, but all you get is a couple of panels of him in a laboratory. He will no doubt play a larger role, but it would've been nice to have spent a bit more time on him and less on Lady Mechanika/Catherine.

One thing that the series (so far) has done exceptionally well is capture the fear of uncertainty. Lady Mechanika is a steampunk comic and is set in a time when things couldn't be as easily explained. Girls with steel claws, flying contraptions and an engineer who infuses robotics into humans is scary enough as it is, but when you're only catching glimpses and whispers the uncertainty makes it even scarier. Hopefully this theme carries on throughout the course of the series.

July 13 is the scheduled ship date. While you've waited this long for the next issue, you don't have to wait long for a sneak peek below.