Comic Review: Monstress

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monstressMonstress Volume 1: Awakening

Marjorie Liu

Sana Takeda

Image Comics

Trade published July 19, 2016

How does one overcome the monstrousness of others without succumbing to a rising monstrousness within?

This is the question posed by Marjorie Liu in a letter at the end of the volume, and it’s explored in exquisite detail within the comic. Set in an alternate-reality 1900’s matriarchal Asia, Maika Halfwolf is seeking answers and revenge from those who killed her mother. Two races–those who possess magic, and those who do not–are in constant conflict. Those with no magic strive to possess–and sometimes eat–those who do have it. Maika enters a slave auction to infiltrate this society to get the answers she seeks. Along the way, she struggles with controlling the monstrous presence inside her that makes her do increasingly horrible things.

The comic is a stunning art deco steampunk feast for the eyes, and explores themes of survival and deadly hatred. The story and characters are intriguing, and the world building is as rich as the artwork.


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JL JamiesonComic Review: Monstress