Hey guys, Anthony here with another comic review. Coming in hotter than a screaming warp core engine is Mechanix #1, published by the good folks over at Source Point Press. I, of course, am still waiting for my cheque in the mail from them. Seriously, any day now guys.
- Written by Ben Slabak
- Art by Edorado Natalini
- Cover art by Edorado Natalini
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: July 27, 2022
- Publisher: Source Point Press
Getting stuck into Mechanix, a comic from Australian writer and creator Benjamin Slabak, who you may remember (if you stock any value in the absolute abortion of a comic book company called Action Lab Entertainment), as he was the editor of one of their previously published books – Mr Beaver. The amount of missteps that company has made make Bad Idea look like a fucking cake walk. Thank Christ Mr Beaver was part of the mass exodus from the creator “owned” properties of Action Lab.
Joining Slabak on this run, is artist Edoardo Natalini and the result is a fun filled sci-fi adventure heist mini-series for all ages.
Into the Mechanix Future
In the not too distant future, a young girl by the name of Keiko and her grandfather operate Junpei’s Temporal Roadside Response, servicing and repairing broken-down time machines all the while searching for Keiko’s parents who are lost somewhere in time. Specifically, pleasure craft time machines.
If you can picture what it would be like if corporate cruise line assholes P&O or Carnival Cruises turned their ships into time travel pleasure crafts then you will begin to understand just how difficult Junpei and Keiko’s jobs are. And just like that it happens, within the first few pages of Mechanix, we’re introduced to a cruise liner that’s got themselves stuck in the past because they took on too many passengers. Morons!
Enter Junpei and Keiko rescuing the silly bastards, nearly at the cost of their own lives, and thankfully returning everyone back to the present. There, back in the present day, the rescue attempt damages their own salvage vessel almost beyond repair. Junpei giving absolute stick to the cruise liners captain is a welcome additive before the sub-plot point that they’ll need to close shop for a bit and stop taking on clients until their own ship is repaired.
It’s here we cease the action for a bit of a pause, elaborating ok the whereabouts of Keiko’s parents, how Junpei wants her to be more careful, yadda yadda yadda. It’s all very fucking beautiful thanks to the experience of Slabak’s writing. Junpei is then approached by an unknown woman of dangerous femme fatale like qualities with a Mark 2 Time Travel ship in her possession.
We learn that Junpei isn’t only the creator of these time travel ships but also the creator of the built in force field which prevents time travellers from disembarking from their ship while in the past, thus diluting the timeline. It’s all very Roddenberry Prime Directive in this exchange of barbs where this woman wants Junpei to disable the force field despite his protestations. He’s knocked out and kidnapped before Keiko can come to his aid (as she’s busy cooking breakfast). Then when you hear the chime you close the comic book.
Like most all ages comics I go in wanting to hate them. I’m not at that part of my life anymore where All Ages is a necessity. Not to mention, most All Ages Comics are often quite limiting. The stakes never feel high.
Benjamin Slabak’s writing in Mechanix #1
The writing throughout Mechanix made it really hard for me to hate it. It’s clear that writer Ben Slabak’s experience is shining through in this book as the result is a fun sci-fi adventure which pulls no punches in its delivery. It’s not overly filtered due to its target audience. Take the All Ages badge off and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference to its 15+ contemporaries.
Edoardo Natalini’s futuristic artwork in Mechanix #1
While the art of Edoardo Natalini exists in a bilateral sphere of cute and action packed. The ethnicities of the characters are clear but not overly obnoxious by being too racially direct. Then when you look at the action sequences of Junpei’s ship bursting through the time portal you get the feeling that Natalini is a true student of the science fiction experience. The colours are sublime and they capture this immersive experience on the page. In a way that transcends age groups.
One thing’s for sure, the artistic influences of Akira Toriyama are inescapable – whether purposeful or not.
While Mechanix is most likely to capture the majority of its audience with the release of a trade paperback, the first issue is a great start to a heist storyline that is out of this world. The fact that Slabak has managed to capture the voice of his main characters so early on, bodes well for this series, and is a refreshing change in an industry where certain USA Independents have been churning out creative clones for the last 12 months.
Mechanix observes the typical science fiction rules, although arbitrary, and uses them to put together a brand new story that is it’s own brand of sci-fi action heist fairy tale. Begging the audience to go where Keiko has never gone before.
Have you checked out Mechanix yet?
Have you checked out Mechanix yet? Did you hate it or rate it?
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