By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
The Image Comics’ smash-hit, Monstress, returns! Maika Halfwolf continues to try to escape from the religious cult, the Cumaea. As an elite group of warriors from the order known as the Inquisitrixes close in on Halfwolf and her companions, the mysterious beast within her makes itself known and comes to her aid, much to her horror. As she struggles to keep the creature in check, Maika continues to search for answers to her mother’s death and her connection to the cracked mask and the being dwelling within her…
This series has garnered quite a name for itself in a short time and rightfully so! Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda have created an extremely vivid and complex world within the pages of this comic. From the stunning cover to the informative back matter, no page is wasted in this book. There is just so much material to convey to the audience that the normal length isn’t enough and that is wonderful. Despite how in-depth the plot and characters are, Liu makes sure that readers have a refresher and that the content flows and is digestible. It’s an impressive feat to have this type of story not be reduced to heavy exposition and development that bogs the comic book with countless dialog bubbles.
Also, this one of the more progressive series due to the fact that the majority of the characters are female. The main male character so far is the ominous, yet playful talking cat, Master Ren. One can definitely infer some serious subtext from the animal, but that’s a whole other conversation better left for a critical analysis essay. Each individual has many idiosyncrasies and traits that make them relatable or intriguing. The design and artistic rendering of their expressions and actions bring them fully to life. The Inquisitrixes may have just been recently introduced, but Liu and Takeda deftly manage the archetypal characters and not make them cliche; a very fine line to walk. Everyone is fully formed and nothing is done halfway or hastily, a sign of true talent and artistry.
This series continues to elevate the genre and medium. There are a select amount of books being published today that merit time to be set aside to be read and appreciated. If the word of mouth or critical acclaim isn’t enough to spark interest in this comic, then those comic readers are probably a lost cause sadly.This title can’t be recommended enough. Big things are on the horizon for Monstress.