Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Saying that s*** hit the fan with this latest issue of Monstress would be a serious understatement. This whole arc was a calm before the storm-type story, and now the storm is finally here. And, by the looks of it, it’s going to be one messed up storm.
As Maika and Gull, her father’s prisoner, are recovering after feasting on some soldiers, Vihn fetched Maika’s old friends. Reunion is the name of the game, as Maika and Kippa have a heartwarming moment after being separated for quite some time. Maika also gets a chance to confront Ren who has betrayed her two times by now. Zinn is still silent and weak though, all thanks to Maika’s father, the Lord Doctor. Speaking of the Lord Doctor, this issue reveals that he is not working alone – he is working with someone else with close ties to Maika. This is just one of the many cliffhangers and hooks Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda hope to pull us back in January. And trust me, there are a lot of those in Monstress #24, so the wait is gonna be very, very painful.
Liu’s intricate world-building is Monstress’ strongest suit. Sure, the characters and their interactions are fantastic and the story is engaging, but exploring the war-torn Known World and learning about it’s storied past is the most exciting part of the series. There’s a fine layer of details you don’t see often, and there’s a sense of logic behind all of it. Every piece of dialogue, every location, and new character contains a shard of new information but paced so masterfully that you never feel swamped by the abundance of new information. Every page gets you invested more and more. It’s like a drug. Monstress is a word drug.
However, none of that would be as good as it is if it weren’t for Sana Takeda’s manga-like artwork. Her painted-like art style brings the Known World to life in a gorgeous way. One thing I really enjoy about her work, though, is how she breathes life in the characters. The characters’ facial expressions tell stories of their own and make them really human. The way she takes Maika from angry to scared, or from sad and powerless to disbelief and relief makes you relate to the character on a more personal level.
Facial expressions aren’t the only thing she excels at, though. Everything looks just so damn good. Midway through the issue, Kippa develops a new ability – a “true” sight. The “true” forms of Maika and Vihn are as monstrous as they are beautiful, and will definitely make your jaw drop.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – Pashtrik is just a regular fanboy. I got only one thing to say to you, though… damn straight I am! I mean, it’s such an awesome book and I’m not that good of a writer to relay to you just how freaking awesome this series is. So I have to rely on all these superlatives to try and convince you that it’s fantastic. Truth be told, you’ll have to give it a shot yourself to see how awesome it is. And if you don’t like it… Well, you sure are wrong and should try again.
Read this book, you'll love it! And if you don't... That's because you're wrong and you need to try again.