Guys, I’m so EXCITED about today’s review! This comic blew my fucking mind and I can’t wait to share it with all the peoples.
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening is an #OwnVoices dark fantasy, steampunk comic series written by Marjorie Liu with illustrations from Sana Takeda. It’s quite possibly one of the finest modern comics that I have read since Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
The story revolves around a young lady, Maika Halfwolf, who’s searching for answers about her mother. Through some very intense plot occurrences, Maika stumbles onto an amazingly powerful and malevolent force that many folks (evil, bastard type folks) are searching for. This force ends up revealing pieces of Maika’s life to her in ways that she couldn’t even begin imagine.
Buckle-up boys and girls because I’m about to share all of the elements that make Monstress a you-better-get-off-your-rump-and-read-this type of series for any and all fans of the comic medium, as well as the dark fantasy genre.
First and foremost, I will start with the story itself. It is impeccably fast-paced and a tumultuously twisted and nefarious thrill ride from the very first page. This narrative is sensationally compelling with its macabre atmosphere and beautifully morbid backdrops, dripping in deliciously dark and sinister incitements. The comic is positively inescapable once you have been acquainted. You get so consumed with fascination and dedication to Maika’s plight that you are swept from one lusciously illustrated panel unto the next with brilliant fluidity.
Speaking of Maika, our intense-as-fuck protagonist, let’s chat about the characters. Maika herself is an Asian-inspired* lady that’s an attitude-laced, ticking time bomb of rage, determination, and badassery. She has an amputated left arm that, upon initial introduction, makes you think she may be a damsel in distress (to an extent). But very, very quickly she establishes herself as an independent agent of Don’t-You-Dare-Mess-With-Me syndrome. A self-reliant, fiercely capable warrior, Maika is the type of female heroine that comic books desperately need more of. The rest of cast consists of multidimensional characters who are stunning in their diversity and delectable in their cruelty. (*Please Note: I say Asian-inspired. The world is a fantasy world where it’s not explicitly stated that the characters are inherently Asian, but the influences are there in a breathtaking exhibition.)
Other elements to positively love with Monstress includes a political agenda of warring communities that’s built upon prejudice and superiority complexes, which adds layers of intrigue and depth to an already engrossing universe. There is violence. It’s wickedly violent; unforgiving with it’s bloodiness and brutality.
If all of this still isn’t enough to convince you to check it out, how about some motherfucking talking kitty-cats? These talking magical pussycats have multiple floofy tails that signify their age, and they’re educated scholars in the world of Monstress; creatures who hold all of the wisdom within the realm.
If there is any flaw with Monstress, then it’s simply that it may be a tad bit too violent for some folks to stomach. So, if you get queasy fairly easily then I recommend treading very carefully. I also wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who plans on reading it as an e-book with a greyscale set-up. The comic will not translate well as the panels and imagery are already very dark in nature and the added layers of colour is what makes all of the artwork pop and come to life when combined with the stimulating story.
Overall, as I mentioned above, I recommend Monstress to everyone who enjoys dark fantasy as well as comics, especially if you don’t mind violence and brutality in brilliant fashion.
5 chatty cats outta 5!
I’m sorry that I haven’t been very active this week! I’m going to be straight with y’all, May Madness is some fucking difficult shit. But I’m having a blast with it. I’ve written down a much better schedule and outline of posts, so I should be able to balance both blogging and BookTubing in May much better now. Thanks everyone for being so patient with me. Y’all are so awesome and I love you guys!