Monstress Volume 1 (collects issues #1-6)
Published by: Image Comics
Publication Date: July 19th 2016
Pages- 192 pages
Format- eGalley (Netgalley)
Rating: 4.5 stars
I’d like to thank Image Comics for approving me to receive an eGalley of the graphic novel Monstress Volume 1 via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I first caught wind of Monstress on Panels.net, the exact article I read listed this graphic novel as the best of 2016 so far & Panels has never steered me wrong
Besides the fact that the cover is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!!! I immediately noticed our POC (aka people of color) female protagonist & knew that I had to read this one but at the time there were only single issues. I patiently awaited the 1st volume only to see that Netgalley had it listed & I went for it (already ordered a physical copy from Amazon).
Monstress has steampunk vibes & artwork that jump off the pages & demand that you take note of all the intricate details of each page. I’m a steampunk fan so this was like eye candy for me, kudos to Sana Takeda’s beautiful illustrations…also, did anyone else catch the blurb by the MAN himself, Mr. Neil Gaiman?!?!😱😱😱🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
I usually include the Goodreads or Amazon synopsis in my reviews except for when they are spoilery & this is one of those instances. Please stay away unless you want to be majorly spoiled as I was. Monstress is set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia where we are introduced to Maika who is a teenage Arcanic (human-like monsters) being sold into slavery. As the story unravels we learn that a civil war took place between humans and the Arcanic, permanently creating a divide. We familiarize ourselves with some of the complex politics & history behind the war. Maika has felt the effects of the war in more ways than one, all of which have shaped her into one badass character. Maika is intelligent & strategic. She is resilient & persistent. Circumstances have slowly shaped her and you get a sense of power as soon as you meet her. Maika also seems to have a dark side to her which makes her all the more interesting. If you’re looking for a graphic novel that is rich in an alternative history, politics, corruptness, war, experimentations, tons of female characters, and eye catching graphics like I am, then Monstress is for you.
I think by now you’ve gathered that I LOVE Maika so instead I’ll talk about some of the other characters…
· Tuya– travels with an eagle by Maika’s side, we don’t get any back story on Tuya but we know that Maika is very close to her
· Sophia Tekete– a Cumae (referred to as a witch nun) scientist that is very skilled with knives & is known for experimenting on the Arcanic
· Atena– Also a Cumae who works in the Cumae council, a scientist good with #’s
· Yvette Lo Lim– Sophia Tekete’s mother, I still don’t know this woman’s deal other than she’s sinister & has weird eating tastes
I thoroughly enjoyed Marjorie M. Liu’s story & eagerly await the 2nd volume, ESPECIALLY after that ending!!!!
Highly recommend 😉