By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
When Image announced this title at their expo, the premise and cover image were an instant hook! Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda introduce their premiere book as a special double issue. The mysterious beauty on the cover is known as Maika. She hails from a group of people known as the Arcanics, who seem to be a different species or race from humans. The two peoples have been at war and are at stalemate at the moment. The Arcanics are used for slavery and experimentation and Maika has purposely involved herself in this situation. She bears on her body a strange symbol and is connected to an event where something monstrous supposedly took place…
From top to bottom this is a spellbinding comic. The world-building that Liu and Takeda are undertaking is breathtaking. There is so much content spread over this debut issue that gives insight into the history and development of the setting that this story takes place in. The same attention is paid to the characters. Despite all that is shown and takes place in #1, there is much that is left a mystery and what has been given to readers shows that there are so many stories that can be told in this particular world. Honestly, it’s really hard to pinpoint any particular references or influences. Marjorie has really come up with something fresh and fascinating, which is so rare in comics today.
Takeda’s artwork is simply sublime. There is such care and detail in every single panel that this book will make peoples’ jaws drop. The architectural designs and renderings are worth this praise alone, but the characters are presented just as thoroughly. Despite being off my radar, Sana Takeda has easily become one of my favorite artists to date. Readers should really take their time and take in all that Sana’s artwork has to offer. She even does the color work and that adds a whole other dimension to the pages. Needless to say, Sana Takeda brings her A-game to Monstress.
The less one knows about this comic the better because it’s best experienced first-hand. This was the best, and most surprising comic book read this week. Image Comics has added what has the potential to be a groundbreaking series to its line. There’s something for everyone, those who like inventive stories and those who value art will find value in this comic. This title should be added to any serious comic reader’s pull-list!