#ComicReview: Monstress by Marjorie Liu (Books 1 & 2)

Friday, February 12, 2016


Monstress #1
Published: November 4 2015
72 Pages

This story is set in alternate China in the 1900’s and when we enter the story, it is after a huge war that went on between human, monster and witches. Monsters are at the disadvantage here, they are literally slaves being sold for body parts, labor and worse. Our main character, Maika is arcanic (monster race) and is about to be sold but is then given to the powerful Cumaea (Witches).  This tale revolves around Maika who basically allows herself to be caught to find out two things: 1. To find her mother’s murderer and 2: What is happening to herself. The only way to get this done is confront the person she believes has the answers even if it means her death.


Monstress #2
Published: December 9 2015
33 Pages

Continuing from the first book, Maika has gotten her revenge or has she? We may have rooted for her in the book 1, but our protagonists becomes a little less likable in this book. Maika is now a fugitive and on the run, she is only looking out for one person and that is herself. She doesn’t heed the warnings or the help of the ones that are trying to assist her. I can totally understand her feelings as Maika doesn’t trust easily or freely BUT it was frustrating to read as well. In a world where monsters are treated so violently...you would think she would take as much help as she can get. Maika also grows into her power a bit but she is still knows little about it and is still unable to control it. She also doesn’t understand exactly what she can or not do…

The artwork is gorgeous in Monstress and the story flows well from book 1 to 2. Very little details are given about Maika’s past but we do learn some things through her memories, it all is just enough to keep you curious though.  I would definitely say that even though Maika is seventeen, these books are for older/mature teens to adults as there are very brutal scenes and some nudity. With Steampunk elements, you also get a sort of futuristic feel of the story even though it is set in a alternate past.

I have to say I was totally taken away by the story and the artwork...the absolute beauty of these graphic comics are nothing short of amazing. The books are filled with diverse characters and women take the driver's side in this series, its a very female orieninated world in Monstress.
I only wished more details were given about Maika’s people and most of all her power but I guess we have to learn along with her. I’m not sure how many comics will come of this story but I will say I am looking forward to more of Monstress. Visit the Tumblr site for the graphics. If you like comics, then I would most definitely say add this one to your list.

My Rating for Both

Author: Majorie Liu
Illustrator: Sana Takeda
Available: Amazon | Imagine Comics

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