Monstress – Issue 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m still new to the graphic novel genre but it seems like I chose well when I pick something up. Monstress is a new series about a girl, Maika, living in a world torn apart by war. In this 72 page issue you only get a glimpse of the world, and what a world! It already feels complex, filled with politics, history and mysticism.
In the beginning I had some trouble understanding what was going on and missed the insight into her, Maika’s, head you usually get when reading a novel. But then explanations came. There had been a war, those who lost have become targets for slave trading, something mysterious happened at the war’s final days. And then there is something about Maika.
I do recommend to not read any synopsis. I did it after I’d read this issue and now I’m spoiled for the following two issues. Sometimes it’s just better to go in blind.
About the artwork
This was beautiful! Even though I still have some difficulties about this not looking like manga (I’m still a new graphic novel reader), I have nothing but good thing to say about the colour scheme. Black, brown, grey and bronze, the lack of bright colours – you understand the seriousness of the world.
Maybe I should mention that the cover looks a lot more steampunk than the story is.
These 72 pages built a solid base for the comic to build on. You got a taste of the history, world, characters, relationships, politics… Everything! A taste of everything without it being jumbled up into chaos – solid writing in other words. That plus the gorgeous artwork. I do not think there is anything more needed for a graphic novel to be beautiful and successful.
“Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.”