Monstress #33 Review

by Nick Devonald on April 21, 2021

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda

We’re now 33 issues into the colossal epic that is Monstress, once of the most ambitious stories ever told via the medium of comics. The world building is unrivalled, the cast huge, the mythology deep and layered. Marjorie Liu has told the story at her own pace, where other writers may have been tempted to bring all of the major players together earlier for an elaborate confrontation, she hasn’t. Maika and Tuya have been separated throughout the tale, and the moment of their reunion was all the stronger for it. And here, 33 issues into the story, all of the main players are united for the first time. And rather than fall into the far too easy trap of having a massive showdown between all of these players, with everything on the line, it is far more subtle and nuanced. It’s everything that readers have come to expect from the series and it doesn’t disappoint.

There are revelations aplenty which are bound to have massive repercussions on the series going forward. Little snippets of information are teased to the reader, Zinn’s past, long hinted at but still shrouded in mystery. Then there’s the characters themselves. Maika’s Aunt, the Warlord, obsessed with discovering the fate which befell Constantine and the weapon used there finds her quest for answers nearing an end.

But of course there are so many pieces in play, each with their own goals and motivations, and it’s thanks to this massive cast of characters that this story rivals Game of Thrones in its scale. And it’s thanks to this that this story is never straight forward, and it keeps readers on their toes guessing what will happen next.

Every bit as incredible as the scale of the storytelling is the intricate layers of detail in Sana Takeda’s artwork. Every panel looks absolutely incredible, and there is so much going on for the eye to feast on. She has a style instantly recognisable and unique, and this makes Monstress one of the best looking comics on the market. Takeda has so many strengths in her art it’s hard to pick out any features above the others. The expressions on the characters faces. A subtle shift between the panels tells a layered story. The action scenes, infused with kinetic energy.

Monstress is a colossal epic, thanks to two incredibly talented creators at the top of the game it tells a story with a scope rarely scene in any storytelling medium let alone comics, it tells a layered story with a deep mythology, well rounded characters with distinct and conflicting goals. It doesn’t conform to traditional comic book tropes, instead it tells a story that would work in any format which just happens to be a comic. Every page is stunning. This is the kind of story that will appeal to non-comic readers.

Our Score:


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