Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Monstro Mechanica' #1 by Paul Allor, Chris Evenhuis, and Sjan Weijers

The description of "a new series starring Leonardo da Vinci, his female apprentice and their wooden robot" kind of says it all but it's only scratching the surface of this charming new series from AfterShock Comics, Monstro Mechanica.  Paul Allor and Chris Evenhuis create a thoughtful and thrilling new adventure during the Renaissance with one of history's most dynamic figures.

MONSTRO MECHANICA #1

Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Chris Evenhuis, Sjan Weijers
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Release Date: December 13, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Fifteenth century Florence, Italy is and has been a great setting for intrigue, romance, adventure, and suspense. The Italian Renaissance is best known for its achievements in painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, philosophy, science and exploration. One of those responsible for bridging  Medieval and Modern Europe was literally referred to as the original "Renaissance Man" was Leonardo da Vinci. He was widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. His varied talents from painting to engineering are on full display in Paul Allor's story of the brash and brilliant inventor. And while there's plenty of political drama between the Pope and the Medici family, it's Leo's mentorship of Isabel and the question of identity that makes this more than just another fictional historical comic. 

DaVinci was so adept in so many disciplines you could say he was the "Mary Sue" of his day or as the creator of the television series DaVinci's Demons David S. Goyer described him, "there are certain similarities to Sherlock Holmes, House, and Tony Stark." A person as accomplished as DaVinci lends itself to legend and appearing larger than life. He's the perfect subject to be fictionalized with very little need to exaggerate much. Would it be a stretch to believe he created a wooden robot in 1492 as described in "Monstro Mechanica"?

Maybe, but this automaton serves as his bodyguard from the forces that challenge his more scientific endeavors which put him at odds with the Pope. A papal hit squad could be lurking just around the corner. If you've played or seen the video game 'Assassin's Creed' you get the idea of a cloaked figure stealthily following its target around a marketplace. So Allor incorporates a lot of the political intrigue that pits DaVinci against the Pope and the powerful Medici family. Those storylines are intricate and strategic. The relationship DaVinci has with his apprentice is more straightforward and illuminating.

Isabel is told she dresses like a boy and is mocked as such. We're not sure why she dresses that way but the reason she sees the robot as a "he" is revealing. Her perception of the robot as strong, big, and powerful as masculine traits could be a hint. Perhaps, in her mind, she believes in order to be taken seriously as the young female apprentice to the odd but brilliant DaVinci, she needs to project a male persona. It's a thought she conveys to DaVinci who rebuffs such an idea telling her she'll learn soon enough those traits aren't reserved for one gender. Their relationship is complex, he's hard on her to follow his instructions, she has her own agency and their philosophical differences over the robot will be a big driving point going forward.

Chris Evenhuis and Sjan Weijers create a vibrant and beautifully rendered 15th Century Florence complete with period-appropriate wardrobe and architecture. Evenhuis' pencils are very clean without a wasted line. The character designs are well done with some diversity in those portrayed. Weijers' colors keep it light and bright with hues that pop yet are rich.The art is a visual treat.

'Monstro Mechanica' is an enthralling historical mash-up featuring the larger-than-life figure of Leonardo da Vinci with a dash of science fiction mixed with suspense and political intrigue. The titular character plays an important role that is still evolving but it's the mentor/apprentice relationship that elevates this new series to new heights. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining debut this year.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

'Aberrant Season 2' Promises Twisty '80's Inspired Action When the Political Thriller Returns

A new, delightfully twisted story arc of the much-lauded political action thriller is coming to you this February!



Rylend Grant has been busy. The screenwriter – whom has previously penned poppy action fare for folks like Ridley Scott, Justin Lin, John Woo, and F. Gary Gray – spent 2018 writing movies for the likes of J.J. Abrams and Hamilton star Daveed Diggs. He also somehow managed to find the time to put together a deliciously evil five-issue sequel to his critically acclaimed comic book, ABERRANT.

“I don’t sleep much,” says Grant, whom is also raising a gleefully rambunctious two-year-old.

To add fuel to his bone-tired fire, Collider recently announced that ABERRANT is being developed for television by 24 and Felicity executive producer Tony Krantz.

“Tony is one of the smartest people working in Hollywood today,” said Grant, who will write the pilot and produce the series alongside Krantz. “He has shown a uniquely genuine passion and enthusiasm for the book. I honestly couldn’t b…

PREVIEW: 'The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers' HC by Francesco Francavilla

A series of unexpected disappearances and deaths hit Central City. Initially, these cases seem purely unrelated; no apparent connection between the victims makes it easy for the police to just file them as runaways or natural deaths. But when someone close to Ebony White disappears, The Spirit is on the case!


The iconic masked crimefighter created by legendary comic book creator Will Eisner returns in an all-new tale by Francesco Francavilla... Eisner Award winner, master of crime noir, and worthy successor to The Spirit’s legacy!
The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers HC
writer: Francesco Francavilla artist: Francesco Francavilla cover: Francesco Francavilla
FC  |  128 pages  |  $19.99  |   Teen+ 












Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work: