The inventions of Leonardo da Vinci were ahead of their time, but in a new series from AfterShock they're being put to use - and to war.
In Monstro Mechanica by writer Paul Allor and artist Chris Evenhuis, various groups are attempting to obtain and weaponize the inventions of da Vinci, and it's up to the main himself - and his apprentice Isabel and a nine-foot tall mechanical bodyguard. Scheduled to debut December 13, this is the latest creator-owned work from the former G.I. Joe writer.
Newsarama spoke with Allor about this new series, and threading through real history for this fictional adventure.
Newsarama: Everyone knows who Leonardo da Vinci is, but who is Isabel - his apprentice?
Paul Allor: Her name is Isabel, and she is awesome. Isabel is a young woman navigating her way through the very male-driven world of Renaissance Florence. Through her apprenticeship with Leonardo da Vinci, she's seen how dangerous his mind can be, and seen how desperate the city's leaders are to control him. So, she sets out to do something about that.
Our story centers on the relationship between da Vinci, Isabel and their nine-foot-tall wooden robot, and I think people are going to love all three of them. Isabel was such a great character to write, and Chris (Evenhuis, the book's artist and my co-creator) did such an extraordinary job bringing her to life. I feel like you can flip through an unlettered copy of this book, and learn all you need to know about Isabel (and the other characters!) just through her facial expressions and body language (or in the case of our robot, just body language). I can't wait for people to see for themselves.
Nrama: How deep are you going into the real inventions da Vinci created for this fictional series?
Allor: Fairly deep. Da Vinci invented a lot of things that were never actually built or put into use. But in our story, they are. Every scribble in his journal, every idea and schematic, exists in this world. On top of that, we also have new, non-historical inventions, including our robot, that Chris designed with a decidedly Renaissance feel to them. But the characters are the driving force of this story. We use da Vinci's inventions when they serve our story, not the other way around.
Nrama: It's fictionalized, so do you have a set distance you'll go in terms of inserting new ideas, characters, and concept into this real-life person?
Allor: Well, I mean, we start our story with a giant robot in the 15th century, so that gives you an idea of how dedicated we are to historical accuracy! The Florentine Renaissance is our framework for telling this story, but we move characters and events around, and bring new people in, whenever it suits our needs. A big part of the fun of this story is seeing real-life historical events interwoven with offbeat, sci-fi elements!
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals with Monstro Mechanica?
Allor: We want this book to be so big that when you google "Leonardo da Vinci," Monstro Mechanica is the first result.
More realistically... our primary goal is to tell a fantastic story - one that makes you think and makes you feel. Beyond that, our goal with this story is to explore issues of identity and consciousness: how the way we view ourselves is shaped by the way others view us, and vice versa; how out outer appearances belie what's happening beneath the surface; how societal forces impact all of the above. At its heart, Monstro Mechanica is a genre-bending, swashbuckling meditation on identity.
Here is the solicitation for the first issue, due out December 13:
MONSTRO MECHANICA #1 / $3.99 / 32 pages / Color / on sale 12/13/17
writer: Paul Allor
artist: Chris Evenhuis
colorist: Sjan Weijers
letterer: Paul Allor
cover A: Chris Evenhuis
cover B: Ariela Kristantina
A new series starring Leonardo da Vinci, his female apprentice and their wooden robot!
At the height of the Renaissance, warring factions vie for control of Leonardo da Vinci’s destructive arsenal. The only thing standing in their way is Leonardo’s young apprentice and her nine-foot tall mechanical bodyguard. Together, they navigate a world of wicked men and war machines, determined to save Leonardo from the world—and the world from Leonardo.
From creators Paul Allor (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Chris Evenhuis (Wynonna Earp) comes this swashbuckling adventure story about war, identity and the birth of the modern world!
"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." - Leonardo da Vinci