Content Warning: Lady Mechanika #2 contains scenes of child abuse and torture.
Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #2 (Lady Mechanika #2) is published by Image Comics, written by Joe Benitez and M. M. Chen, art by Joe Benitez, colors by Beth Sotelo and Sabine Rich, and letters by Michael Heisler. As Lady Mechanika and her companions continue to explore the Founder’s Day Fair, she recounts her time at the Ministry of Health to Dr. Littleton.
When people think of terrifying things, they tend to conjure up images of horrendous monstrosities. Of vicious creatures that threaten to rip and tear people apart. But are these monsters the scariest? Are their sheer power and unrelenting nature the most terrifying form of evil? Or is the evil that is innocuous, disarming, and sinister the thing that should haunt people’s sleep? After all, while the former may be brutal to see before you, you won’t see the latter coming—a lesson that a young Lady Mechanika has to learn while at the Ministry of Health.
Lady Mechanika #2 continues to deliver a chilling story that builds up its characters, setting, and tone amazingly. From the brutality of her treatment at the hands of the deacon to the cruel, oppressive discipline of those in charge with maintaining order in the asylum’s dormitory, Lady Mechanika #2 delivers on the nightmarish experience its protagonist tells to her companion.
But what makes the cruelty of the staff genuinely stand out is the nature of the inmates. Young ladies all, whose only “problem” is that they are born with some form of physical characteristic that might make their presence unwelcome in “proper” society. These girls are all scared beyond belief, as they scatter like mice before their keepers, lest their ire catch one of them. But despite all the fear and terror that overwhelms the girls, one young lady reaches out and even risks her safety to help Lady Mechanika adapt to her new home. However, this good Samaritan is not all that she seems. And the book makes no effort to hide it.
This is perhaps the element that best shows how confident Benitez is in his writing. The writer knows that the story, characters, and tone are so well applied that there is no need to attempt to hide the intentions of Mechanika’s would-be friend. Rather than depend on the shock of a plot twist to grab the reader, Benitez allows the certainty of what is coming to the unsuspecting Mechanika to hold the reader in place. It takes great writing to put a key plot point in front of the reader so brazenly, but here, Benitez pulls it off swimmingly.
The art’s ability to enhance and deliver this emotional and harsh tale cannot be understated. The moments of terror, cruelty, and kindness are brought to life through a combination of excellent lines and colorwork, bringing every moment of the tale to life.
Finally, we have the lettering. The lettering delivers the story cleanly throughout the book but also brings an extra dash of atmosphere to some of the book’s more nightmarish sequences, thanks to an excellent font selection that manages to build up the moment while not making the text any harder to read.
When all is said and done, Lady Mechanika #2 continues to craft a superlative tale filled with emotion and victorian era horror.
Lady Mechanika #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Lady Mechanika: The Monster at the Ministry of Hell #2
Lady Mechanika #2 continues to craft a superlative tale filled with emotion and victorian era horror.