Lady Mechanika continues to be a guilty pleasure – yes, I know it isn’t a great series but the illustration work is just so detailed and colorful that I am mesmerized enough not to care. It’s a graphically beautiful steampunk that has as much to do with the genre as swimming goggles with random watch gears glued onto them in a cosplay – it doesn’t bear close scrutiny but then again, why would you?
Lady Mekanika is despondent over the death of her friend Dallas. She travels to Mexico to get away from the gloom of England only to encounter a seemingly supernatural mystery surrounding the Dia De Los Muertos festival in a local village. She is instantly suspicious of a ‘group of demons’ who demand plunder – why would demons want/need money? Upon encountering children tortured and mutilated as warnings to villagers not to resist, she takes it upon herself to remove the threat permanently. But her actions will have tragic consequences.
This volume is a standalone in the series and does not advance the main story arc of Mechanika looking for the origins of her transformation. As such, all of her usual compatriots are not here and the story revolves solely around her.
There is a surprising amount of talk and philosophy about the Day of the Dead which has to be slogged through to get to the action. And I don’t remember any such thing as phosphorescent moss that looks like green demon flame anywhere in Mexico (and wouldn’t the villagers recognize it anyway?). And who keeps a full detailed replica outfit for an Aztec goddess – in a small village in the era of Catholic priests? But this is a comic so I really shouldn’t look too deep into it.
So what works are the beautiful layouts and illustration work. Mechanika redressed as an Aztec goddess of death was fun and honestly beautifully done. And her vengeance path was very ‘kick butt’ as she goes after the bad guys with a pair of twin sacrificial daggers. Lots to enjoy on the graphic side, perhaps not so much on the story side. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.