A Girl, Her Robot, And So Much Intrigue In Monstro Mechanica #5

by James Ferguson

After losing control of their pet robot, Leonardo da Vinci and his apprentice, Isabel return to Florence. What do they do next with this creation? Now that they’ve created a machine that can think and learn, how do you make basic automatons? And what of the robot itself?

Monstro Mechanica #5 puts the story at a crossroads. The characters have to figure out what to do next and there are some intriguing possibilities. Da Vinci is on the bubble. He could become history’s greatest inventor or its biggest monster depending on which way he goes next. Meanwhile, Isabel works to ground him a bit, reminding him of the good the machine can do.
Before we get there, there’s a dry run of sorts. A group of assassins come for Da Vinci and the monster rises to defend its creator. Colorist Sjan Weijers heightens this scene with some vibrant reds. The scene takes place at sunset, so it’s a perfect layout. The machine is colored in this bright, violent red, showing how deadly it can be.

This changes once Isabel arrives. The light softens and it goes back to its normal self. It’s amazing what a difference the color palette makes as we flip from terror to peace with a flip of a page. This also shows how close Isabel is to the robot. They have an unmistakable bond that supercedes the one the machine has with da Vinci.
Isabel recognizes the enormous risk involved in their actions. They have to be meticulously careful with their next steps or everything could spiral out of control. Isabel is the voice of reason here once again, bringing an air of humanity to both da Vinci and the machine. It’s frightening to think what the inventor would be like without her around.

Artist Chris Evenhuis delivers the perfect balance between drama and comedy, particularly with his characters. Their facial expressions are so full of life. They amplify comedic scenes with wide-eyed looks and sly grins and add gravitas to a serious scene with wry glances.
Evenhuis’ pencils are clean with an emphasis on detail. Everything about his images is clear, allowing you to soak in the characters and their actions. His use of repeated panels is used sparingly, but effectively, controlling the pacing of the story and added some extra emphasis on a moment or adding a beat to a joke.

Monstro Mechanica started as a fun tale of a girl and her robot and has quickly grown into so much more. It’s a solid tale of intrigue featuring one of the biggest names in history. Writer Paul Allor has crafted the right mix of drama and humor, filled with interesting characters. One of them is an emotionless robot, and it’s somehow more human than Leonardo da Vinci. That’s saying something.
Monstro Mechanica #5 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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