J.D. Morvan and Bengal are back with another fresh arrival to North America. That’s right Magnetic Press has swooped up another story from these strong collaborators. I have to say it’s been a great year for comics since Magnetic Press’ debut. I know that personally I’ve been introduced to some incredible creators with Bengal and J.D. Morvan being among them. The ideas that Morvan comes up with for his stories are always so interesting and while not all of them are new, the take on them are always unique. So what is it this time around? Well here’s my take on Meka, it takes a look at the world that’s left over after a giant mech battle. When I say mech battle I’m talking Gundam, Robotech and other classic franchise that put tiny people in giant fighting robots.
Our story begins with two warring mech users landing in a city. We follow two pilots in a white mech; the pilot Lt. Llamas is in control of the mech using an interface that connects to his body. His support solider Corporal Onoo sits at the ready to help during the battle with repairs or anything else that comes up. The battle begins, but we don’t focus on the cool mech battle. Sure we see some of that, but Bengal sprinkles in these amazing panels showing what’s happening on the ground level. We see a man get stepped on and his body just comes apart as the mech takes its next step. The battle itself is over rather quickly, but the unit that our two main characters are in ends up damaged.
Part of the system is that if the mech is damaged it auto destructs, but they have no way out at the moment so Onoo works her magic and disarms the detonation sequence. What happens when two mech pilots are suddenly trapped on the ground after a battle that has ravaged the city? Well Meka explores just that.
This story is very cool. I mean who doesn’t love mech battles? It’s one of my favorite genres of anime, but you know what? For the life of me I’ve never seen a story explore the carnage on the ground of such a battle. In anime the area is always cleared out which makes it easy to forget, but Morvan takes a deep look at these battles. It’s interesting for sure and has plenty of commentary on modern warfare as well.
The characters are a little weak. You get a pretty good feel for them both, but their dynamic isn’t great and their development happens too quickly. They go from butting heads to let’s work together pretty quickly and while it doesn’t spoil the story it’s just something that could have been stronger.
Bengal is amazing on the artwork. This must have come after Naja because I can see improvement in his style, especially in the coloring. Bengal captures the presence of the mechs wonderfully and really gives a perspective to their height and destruction that follows them.
Some of the best scenes are just of the aftermath of the battle. Seeing what the world looks like after all the mechs have gone is just stunning and puts the entire battle in perspective. That’s not something that the story can do on its own, it really needed the art to deliver that message and it does so wonderfully.
The creative team has done a damn fine job with this story and tackled the genre from an angle that really no one else has thought of. That’s one reason to read it, but another is the fantastic artwork that accompanies the story. If you liked Morvan and Bengal’s Naja then you’re bound to enjoy Meka.
Writer: J.D. Morvan Artist: Bengal Publisher: Magnetic Press Price: $19.99 Release Date: 9/17/14 Format: Hardcover