Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Graphic Novel Review: Lady Mechanika Vol 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci by M. M. Chen and Joe Benitez

Pros: gorgeous artwork, interesting story, great costumes

Cons: depressing ending

Lady Mechanika’s quest to discover her past is sidetracked when Mr Lewis’s depression suddenly dissipates and he announces his engagement to a mysterious woman.

This volume collects the three comics that make up this storyline. It references some of the earlier volumes, but as situations and people are given enough reference, you can follow along even if you haven’t read those.

As with the other volumes, the artwork is gorgeous with some great steampunk costumes and a Victorian style setting. There are a few fight scenes with good action and a new female bad guy.

I found myself conflicted by the depression plotline. On the one hand I think the team did a great job of showing that it can take a long time for people who have suffered lost to recover. On the other hand, Lady Mechanika seems to have reached a point where she’s tired of Mr Lewis’s grief and just wants him to go back to being her occasional sidekick. I could actually understand his choice for marriage at the end of the volume and felt that Lady Mechanika took something from him and then left him alone to deal with the fallout at a point when he clearly needs intervention. The idea that he’ll just recover on his own - given enough time - is unfortunately rarely true in real life, and it would have been nice to see this acknowledged in the comic, maybe by sending him to a convalescent home or giving him a pet to care for (it’s possible this will be addressed in the next issue). But that last page with him is very depressing to read.

On the whole though, I thought it was a great volume.

No comments: