Cover Image: Lady Mechanika, Vol. 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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Member Reviews

This is a well written graphic novel.  The whole series is amazing.  Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.
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The Lady Mechanika series has always been a fun, female-driven comic in a steampunk Victorian world. The fifth volume adds more fantasy with fae characters and some of the magic that has otherwise only been hinted at. The writing and art are (as always) superb and the only complaint is that there is not more!
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ARC from Netgalley. Professionally reviewed for Diamond Bookshelf.

Set in a steampunk London at the turn of the 20th Century, LADY MECHANIKA follows the adventures of the title character as she uses her private detective skills to not only assist the police with their investigations (primarily in matters of the occult and paranormal) but also to discover her past, which was taken away from her by a brutal serial killer.

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI (translated “The Beautiful Woman Without Mercy”) puts Mechanika’s associate, Mr. Lewis, in the spotlight as he begins a relationship with a gorgeous lady, Leanna Shi, who has a sordid past. It seems that she is the widow of some very talented people who all died mysteriously… Can Lady Mechanika stop her friend from making a huge mistake? Should she?

Joe Benitez brings another Volume of his hit series, with not only the gorgeous artwork he is known for, but also with a compelling story that dives into folklore and the moral responsibilities between friends. Recommended ages 15 and up.

The only negative to reading this title? They don’t get released fast enough. LOVE this book.
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I feel like I've given up on actually learning anything about Mechanika's history at this point. This volume, like most of the previous ones, hints at her background without actually given up much. However, Benitez does a great job of taking this steampunk character and inserting her into different types of stories. This volume imagines her in part of a fairy tale. And it does it more in line with historical fairy tales where the creatures are malevolent and preying on humans. It fits the time period and place of the story wonderfully. I really enjoy the art. It certainly progressed from the first volume. I'll keep reading these if the premise sounds interesting, even if we never get anywhere with Mechanika's origins.
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The Lady Mechanika series is one of only a handful that I make a point of keeping up on. The story never disappoints and the artwork is fantastic. I am not sure what more there is to add, that is really what you are looking for in graphic stories of any kind, and it is here.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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First, I haven't read any of the other volumes in this series, so my review is based on this volume alone. The artwork is gorgeous, very detailed and lush. I love all the steampunk going on, and the art style makes me think of Aeon Flux, though much prettier, of course. There are two story lines going on, Mechanika trying to discover her origins, and trying to save her friend Mr. Lewis from a fae that is stealing his mortality. I figured out what had been going on previously for the most part, but I'm sure I missed some relevant stuff, so maybe jumping in this far into the story isn't the best idea- if you're considering this series, starting from the beginning is better, I'm sure. The story is intriguing enough that I plan on looking for the previous volumes. Now, for the boobily factor- the body style isn't terribly unrealistic; I mean, most graphic novels have unrealistic body types, male and female both, and personally, I'm not reading comics expecting to see realism. Mechanika definitely has a nice bod, but she's not super top heavy, her flesh is covered in form-fitting but not spandex clothing, and even after a fight where her clothes got thrashed, she wasn't showing gratuitous skin, no barely there strips of cloth. Overall, a satisfying read.

#LadyMechanikaVol5LaBelleDameSansMerci #NetGalley
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Another great Lady Mechanika mystery served by Benitez.  Not only does La Belle Dame Sans Merci fill any true steampunk fans needs for Victoria era settings & advanced technology but we see a bitof magic added to this volume.
A mysterious women grabs hold of Mr. Lewis and extends to him a bargain:  Live a short blissful life with her or continue living a full lifetime of suffering over the loss of his family.  Mr. Lewis accepts her offer and it's cost, becoming happy, creative and productive, shedding his grief and guilt of the death of his family.  Lady Mechanika seeing Mr. Lewis caught in trick, releases him from this agreement despite his pleas and being of sound mind.  It is heartbreaking to see Mr. Lewis fall back into his misery after a temporary grace.  The relationship between them will never be the same.

This was a great story of a supporting character.  Mr. Lewis is a brilliant individual who brings a rich side story line and supports the main character and her story.  That being said, readers still have no deeper understanding of the main characters history or how she came to be. 

This is volume 5 of this series and I (as well as other readers) are starting to think poorly of this series as the main plot is moving along too slowly.  We know no more of Lady Mechanika's past then we do in the first volume.  We see a growing cast of wonderful characters but remain stagnant on our main.  Throw us readers a bone here and there as I fear people including myself will abandon reading future issues.

The unique story creation and illustration quality is impeccable and it would be a shame to abandon such work because of such main story neglect.

I received a ARC from Netgalley for a honest review.
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The art and character designs for this series are great. My problem is the constant teasers about Lady Mechanika's origins that go nowhere. Either further that plot thread or drop it. It's just annoying and a waste of the limited page count at this point. That being said, the main plot is interesting and it's nice to focus on some of the supporting cast at this point.
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We find ourselves back in Lady Mechanika’s steampunk London once again. Finally, our protagonist’s creator seems to be coming out of the shadows, but all is not well with inventor Archibald Lewis. And so kicks off Lady Mechanika, Volume 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci written by M. M. Chen and Joe Benitez, and with art by Martin Montiel and Beth Sotelo. 

This volume focuses more on character development than some of the previous volumes. While Lady Mechanika’s action packed heroics do come into play, it is the mystery and characters that take center stage. Two mysteries begin at once. First, a mysterious mechanical arm is found in an abandoned house, one that is suspiciously similar to her own and has gained the interest of her long-time enemy Blackwell. The second mystery involves Mr. Archibald Lewis. The resident inventor and loveable sidekick of Mechanika has fallen into a deep depression—and into alcoholism—after the events of Volume 4. The mysterious widow Leanna Shi both captures his heart and lifts him out of despair seemingly overnight. Despite her friend’s happiness, she can’t help but suspect foul play.

The less action packed nature of the volume does mean that a few of the pages are a bit static. There is a good deal of discussion in Volume 5, and all of it meaningful. This is a volume of character growth. Lady Mechanika is faced with a problem – follow the path she always does, the one towards knowledge of who she is, where she came from, and who made her this way, or help a friend in need. 

That’s not to say Mechanika’s assistance is wanted or even that her arguments are correct. This is where this volume truly shines. Both Mechanika and Lewis’s arguments make a certain kind of sense. It is very easy to sympathize with both characters, and equally easy to see where one completely misunderstands—or refuses to understand—the other. 

The art is ever beautiful. Palettes change in different sections. Sometimes the browns and grays of the traditionally steampunk world are shown. Other times bright blues and other colors overtake the page. There are some truly gorgeous two page spreads in this volume. I must commend the artists and colorists for this volume. 

I did feel as if the volume could have used just a few more pages to flesh out the changing dynamics between the characters and how they have changed throughout the volume. However, I am quite satisfied, and look forward to the next volume in the series. 

Lady Mechanika, Volume 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Joe Benitez, M. M. Chen, Martin Montiel, and Beth Sotelo is a fantastic installment in the Lady Mechanika series. This volume in particular is best for those who already have read at least a volume or two of the series.
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Another amazing installment of Lady Mechanika! I've been in love with M.M. Chen and Joe Benítez' steampunk world since I picked up the first volume. And it keeps getting better and better!

Lady Mechanika gets a clue about her mysterious past, but concern for Mr. Lewis takes her way of course in the 3 issue La Belle Dame Sans Merci series.

Chen and Benítez' world building is superb. 5 volumes in, and the characters keep getting richer and more complex. And the artwork is off the charts! Some of the most beautiful steampunk I've ever seen.

I can't wait to see where this series goes next.
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Lady Mechanika Vol #5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci by M.M. Chen and Joe Benitez continues the tales of one of the most intriguing and well conceived characters in comics today. Lady Mechanika, a Victorian era lady whose half human, half machine body makes her an anomaly in this Steampunk setting of London.

In the basement of an old home, a mechanical arm is found that bares a striking resemblance to the one that Lady Mechanika possesses. Could this be a clue to her origin? Mechanika investigates the find and when she does, she is attacked by a foe who seems to know her. A foe who taunts Mechanika.

"...Do yae really think you...can best me? Yer just a second rate version of me..."

The foe bests Mechanika and tells her that she would like to make Mechanika's absence more permanent but that "Papa" would not approve. This woman knows Mechanika and knows her past. But before Mechanika can learn more, she disappears in an explosion with the arm.

As this is happening, Mechanika's friend and sidekick, Lewis is drinking heavily and becoming obsessed with his inability to continue with his inventions. He falls into a deep depression that is only lifted when a new woman comes into his life. A woman who worries both Mechanika and Mr. Lewis' niece Fred.

Mr. Lewis quickly proposes to this new woman, Leanna and with her at his side he seems to have a renewed fervor and happiness. But he is also becoming isolated from everyone and as Fred and Mechanika begin to suspect there is far more to this woman than what they see. Fred and Mechanika will have to move quickly, because if they are right, Mr. Lewis is in grave danger.

I really liked this story as it dealt so much more with Fred and Mr. Lewis. These two characters are well developed and lend a powerful emotional slant to counter Mechanika's lack of one. The teaser of what appears to be her "...sister..." and clues to her origin, while tantalizing, take a back seat to the peril that Mr. Lewis finds himself in. 

The touch of the other worldly is well researched and brought into the story bit by bit and the full scope of what Fred and Mechanika are facing is revealed slowly. This is terrific in the respect that Leanna and Mechanika do not start off as rivals and only become so as time progresses. 

A terrific storyline and brilliant artwork, which I have come to expect from this book!
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Lady Mechanika hears and seeks a mechanical arm similar to her own only to loose it and barely avoid kidnapping by The Reapers because Mr. Lewis did not show up. Confronting him, she finds that he has acquired a fiance that enthralls which worries Fred terribly especially when they disappear to France. Will Lady Mechanika and Fred come up with a plan that works or will they loose Mr. Lewis?

Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title.
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I have enjoyed this series since Volume 1, and this installment is no different. The characters go from strength to strength, the story becomes more and more intriguing and the art style is, as always, to die for.

Long may this series reign!
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Lady Mechanika continues to be beautifully drawn, but I'm beginning to weary of how drawn out her search for her origins is. 

Received via NetGalley.
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I love this series and I wish more Steampunk fans could find it.  That said, I would not recommend for classroom use -- though I might lend my copy to energetic and curious and mature students.
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This volume starts us of with us heading into a bit of Lady Mechanika’s past. Or at least there are some hints there. It got me quite excited to maybe see a bit more of it discovered in this volume. However unfortunately that did not happen. Those little hints were all we got and the story shifted. 

I could have really liked the shift of story as it goes into Lewis’ problems, if it had also properly gone into the bond these two have. Instead it barely skims the surface. Lewis makes it clear he doesn’t feel appreciated and lady Mechanika feels attacked. That is it. It sucks because Lewis fragility here opened up a lot. He is clearly suffering and it could have added an emotional feel to this volume. 

Instead I got a negative feel from this volume. Lewis is trying to deal with the loss of his family that he blames on himself. It makes him drown himself in drinks. His decisions when he does stop drinking aren’t of liking to Lady Mechanika. And yes she had every right to criticize them. They weren’t great. HOWEVER at what point is it okay for her to make decisions for another adult because she doesn’t like/agree with them? He wasn’t under a spell in that he was being coerced. The end clearly showed that. I am interested in seeing how this backlash will be dealt with in later volumes because you can’t just recover from something like that in a friendship. 

I feel like these volumes (this one was just 100 pages) really aren’t long enough to do justice to the world, the stories and any kind of overarching plot with Lady Mechanika’s past. 

The art in itself is great and consistent.
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Lady Mechanika is back and is investigating a mystery that hits close to home. Her friend Mr. Lewis is exhibiting strange behavior and Lady Mechanika must be a friend first and put her search for her master on the back burner. Steam punk, and mystery still abound in this volume.
 

I always giggle like a rabid fan girl when it comes to Lady Mechanika. Is it her kick assness? Her wit (sometimes sarcastic), her heartbreaking backstory, her totally cool outfits, of just the steampunk in general?

First off let me just squee in delight over Inspector Singh making an appearance. I really do wish he played more of a role in the series in general. But I get it, Lady Mechanika is sort of a lone wolf-slash-half human-slash-half machine...thing.

The mystery in this volume focuses on Mr. Lewis. Usually I love him. He's such a goof that his somewhat drunken stupor is sort of endearing. He was quite defeatist and gullible this time and I wanted to slap him out of it. How he could have easily fallen for the gorgeous fairy is understandable given the skeletons in his closet.

Although, the "villain" in this volume strayed from the usual baddies Lady Mechanika encounters. Was she really evil? Maybe. But I could almost feel sorry for her towards the end. And poor Mr. Lewis. It really left it all up in the air as to his relationship with Lady Mechanika. Hope it's not irreparable.


Overall, I really can't fault this series. It's just so fun to read. The artwork is amazing and the characters memorable.
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This, the fifth volume of Lady Mechanika, was another wonderful story that had gorgeous illustration throughout. Lady Mechanika is still trying to learn about her past but is deterred by Mr. Lewis' disappearance and funny demeanor.  Mr. Lewis has found a fiancé out of nowhere and she is doing something to him. 

I love the illustration in these graphic novels, it is very detailed and it follows the story well. One thing to note about these graphic novels is that there is a lot of text though for a graphic novel and while the illustration does carry some of the weight of the story, there is still a lot of reading when you get into the story. 

Mechanika is growing as a character and I really like her growth so far, she is seeming more human than machine as the story line moves forward and that may play into developments later in the story. I am really enjoying this series and the weird developments that occur that are inhibiting her from moving forward on her journey because it is more friendships built while she is trying to be alone and in the end I think she needs these people in her life to help her find her origin.

A few other disclaimers, this is an adult series with adult content and a good amount of violence, so be aware before you go picking these up.
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Absolutely beautiful artwork and an intriguing plot enliven Lady Mechanika Vol 5.

Lady Mechanika is again trying to discover who mechanized her when she is interrupted by a new issue. Mr. Lewis, her sidekick, is pulled out of his depression by a new lady love. But is her love for him true? In the meantime, Lady Mechanika runs into a professional hit woman, Mistress Grimm.

I love the new villainess. Her metal mask is truly scary. It will be nice if Mr. Lewis pulls out of his funk and man’s up as Robin to Lady Mechanika’s Batman.

Seriously, the awesome steampunk art here will, I’m sure, inspire amateur seamstresses/metalworkers out there to create some fine clothing. I also like the overt and subtle female empowerment within the plot. Lady Mechanika is obviously an independent woman as well as a take-no prisoners kick-a$$. However, it’s not just the Lady, both young girls in the story are shown in pants and not intimidated by anyone.

Lady Mechanika Vol 5 is a fantastic merging of steampunk and fantasy with a mystery. This series just keeps getting better. 5 stars!

Thanks to Benitez Productions and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Once again the artwork and design is top notch on this book (except for a couple of images where, dare I say it, the Lady looks unattractive), but still this isn't as good as it should be.  It really feels like a padding episode – we get a brand new character in the prologue here, which was a Free Comic Book Day issue, only to divert into forgettable monster-of-the-month territory.  The only thing is that the Day of the Dead Special was supposed to be the non-canonical aside, but here,  after finally ironing out all the many flaws of the series, especially its errant wordiness, we get a very disposable trade.  Somewhere there is within the creators here the talent for a knockabout drama, full of highly visual action, wonderfully-drawn combat scenes, and a clever story construct.  I'm still waiting for all three of those aspects to come true, let alone more than one per volume.  But I do, as opposed to when I first picked up Book One, live in hope.
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