Monstress #29 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 22, 2020

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda

With the siege of Ravenna Marjorie Liu has been using this current story-arc to really look at some of the harsher realities of warfare, and hasn’t shied away from the brutalities of them. Where other comics would have had this siege over in an issue or two Liu takes the time to tell the story that needs to be told, and the series is all the stronger for it. Monstress never ceases to amaze with the incredible scope and epic storytelling on display here, more typically found in an epic fantasy novel series than a comic. Each subsequent story-arc feels better than the last, and with no clear end in sight hopefully it continues on for many years to come.

Another bold move with the past couple of issues is to take the focus away from Maika nearly completely, with her not featuring in the last issue at all and only featuring briefly in this issue. It hammers home that war is so much bigger than any one character, no matter how powerful or important that character is. And while the Halfwolf has undoubtedly played a large role in the defence of Ravenna the story is much bigger than hers. While many other stories would have focused primarily on her story Liu doesn’t feel compelled to do so, which tells a much richer story because of it.

Sana Takeda uses a number of double page spreads to great effect in this issue. Constantines conclusion is awe-inspiring. A particular highlight is the previously mentioned look at the harsh realities of war, where we see the effects of war on a number of different, mostly anonymous, characters. The next one captures an action packed scene in all its horror and glory. Takeda’s art is always on a different level from nearly any other artist in the comic scene, but these really stand out and are elevated above her normal high standards. The level of detail in every scene is outstanding, and the reader could get lost for hours in the intricate art. All of which really serves to bring home the horror and reality of war, with all the bloodshed and lives needlessly lost which accompanies it.

The biggest problem with this issue is it’s the penultimate issue in the current story-arc, which if previous story-arcs are anything to go by means that there’ll be an intermission shortly. Of course it’s not only understandable but preferable that we get six issues on a regular basis, the wait between story-arcs can be excruciating.

Another incredible issue in one of the best ongoing comic series bar none. This reviewer can’t heap enough praise on this series, it’s an absolute must read. This issue explores the harsh reality of war in all of its excruciating brutality, making for some chilling moments. It feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of the tale being told here, which hopefully means it’ll be coming for many years to come. As always the art is so intricate and beautiful, it’s truly breathtaking, even when the subject matter is so violent.

Our Score:


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