I’d never heard of Lady Mechanika before reading this story. This was my first introduction to her and her story and from the back cover this is what I learned: she’s the result of an evil scientist’s experiment and has no idea who she is, but she knows she’s different – she’s strong and no longer fully human. All of this was wrapped up in a steampunk package and I was intrigued to say the least!
La Dama De La Muerte is not the first instalment of Lady Mechanika’s story, and I’m always a little wary about jumping into the middle of a story arc of an established character, especially if I know nothing about them. If I jump into a re-telling of Batman or some other well-known character I don’t mind too much because I already know enough of their backstory to carry me through. But Lady Mechanika’s story was 100% new to me and I was worried that I’d need to know quite a bit about her in order to ‘get this’. I can’t express enough how happy I was to find that this was not the case!
In La Dama De La Muerte Lady Mechanika is new to all of the characters in the story, so I got to be introduced to her just like the characters were. I thought this was a very clever way to make her accessible to new readers, and yet I still felt that those who were familiar to her already wouldn’t have felt overlooked. Her introductions didn’t alienate new fans or long time ones and I think that shows incredible skill on the part of the writer!
As you may have guessed from the title La Dama De La Muerte is all about the Mexican festival Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and this was totally new to me. I was being exposed to not only a new character, but also a culture I know very little about – and I got a beautiful introduction in every sense of the word!
The time taken to explore and explain the culture was appreciated, impressive and refreshing. As someone who had very little idea about the celebration it was so wonderful to read about it in such depth and to have a story going on alongside it too. I felt like the celebration and the explanation and exploration of it was handled in a respectful manner and it just made for a wonderful reading experience.
As for the story itself, outside of Dia De Los Muertos, I found it to be interesting and engaging. It was simple to be sure, but it was well done and executed. Everything about it was appealing and it contained some genuinely emotional moments.
I’m not sure how well the story would flow broken up into smaller volumes (as it may very well have been published initially) but as a fully contained story in one book it was brilliant.
The artwork was like nothing I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel before. It was stunning, beautiful, emotive and so much more. I have very few words to describe it but I’ve included some of the artwork below. The only word I have for it is exceptional.
I knew nothing of Lady Mechanika before reading this, but now I want to know everything about her! I’d highly recommend this graphic novel series!
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was given a digital copy of the ARC in return for an honest review. I was not paid or sponsored to write this review – all the opinions are honest and my own.