I still can’t believe that I got the opportunity to read this early. I’m not ok.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on Monstress Vol.1: Awakening, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.
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I think literally anyone that follows the comic world has heard of this title. It has been on every list of the best comics so far, and people have been going crazy over it. I was dying to get my hands on the TPB because look how gorgeous is the art! I saw the issues at my local comicbook store and almost fainted due to such gorgeousness! Luckily, the first volume was available on NetGalley. I legit screamed, got the galley and started reading it right away.
Monstress deals with the aftermath of a great war, between humans and the arcanic, hybrids between humans and great ancient beings. Maika Halfwolf is looking for revenge over her mother’s death while struggling with her own trauma, and literal monster who she shares a psych link with.
I avoided knowing about this story as much as I could so I really didn’t knew what to expect. I was surprised from the first issue with how violent this is. This wasn’t a problem since I’m a sucker for violence, blood and specially, women that bring hell upon their enemies. Maika is absolutely amazing. She’s so scarred and tormented, and that drives her to do amazing things. Her pain is incredible and it pops from the pages directly to your heart. This story is brutal, dark and gritty. That comes from the terrible world and all its horrible things, but also from poor Maika. This is a tale about pain, fear and suffering and like those things, heartbreaking.
I was surprised by how long this book actually is. The first issue is much longer than usual, having almost triple the normal size! I felt like this was totally necessary to the story. The world and Maika’s story are both very complex and they need some page time to be developed. Although, don’t expect this volume to explain everything because it will not. A lot of details are not crystal clear just yet, but enough is said to get a good picture. And for you to create your own theories and suspicions! It took me a while to finish this book, but that wasn’t necessarily bad. There’s a lot of dialog and info dumping, but it’s completely crucial. I just wanted to soak in everything and every little detail of the art.
Ok, I succeeded in talking a lot about the whole book without mentioning the art too much but I cannot anymore!! God, it is beautiful! It has a more manga feel than I was expecting but it’s beautiful nevertheless. It perfectly shows the brutality and violence of the world. The colour palette isn’t usually my thing, but I’m totally sold on it for this story. It’s so, so fitting. I absolutely loved the mixture of rural China with art deco. It seems like a weird pair but it works really well, actually. The character designs are amazing too. There’s so many different characters, not only to mention the differences even in the particular races of this world. The cats were my favourite, of course, but my mind was blown when any old god appeared. Their style is so intricate and complex!
I’m so in love with this book. It was everything I was expecting, and it did not dissapoint me in the slightest. The only thing that makes me sad is knowing that I’ll have to wait a long time in order to read the next volume. I hope I can get my own copy of this first by then, so I can re-read it!
Here are some of the previews:
Anyway, are any of you following this series? Anyone curious to read it? Please let me know!
See you soon,