It’s not completely uncommon for me to grab a book off the shelf on a random Wednesday based on the art. When I picked up Monstress #1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda it was not a random occurrence. I saw the preview for it in the back of Rumble #8, also by Image Comics, which is kind of ironic as that was a book I originally started reading because of the artwork. The Monstress preview immediately struck my eye as breathtakingly gorgeous. Sana Takeda’s style hints at Anime but with gorgeous overtones of detail that tattoos the story to your eyes and brain. Even as I write this I have yet to finish reading the book and have started this review based on the preview alone. Hold Please.
OK. Whew. The story is about a girl named Maika who lives in a war torn world and has a mysterious past embedded within the conflict. There’s a level of mysticism at work, but it has yet to be fully explained. As first issues go this one was handled beautifully as Marjorie Liu’s story is off to an incredible start, and the sheer size of this book is massive not only in page length (66 by my count) but in world building. She adds the flashbacks in just the right places and still keeps the story continually flowing.
But that artwork though.
I cannot in good conscience tell you that my eyes weren’t all over every beautiful detail of every panel of Sana Takeda’s art to the point where I had to go re-read the story to take it all in as one.
It’s Just… Fucking Beautiful.
I hesitate to compare this book to any others on the shelf as it is definitely in a league of its own but if Saga met Wayward at the hotel bar, the resulting torrid love affair would more than likely be Monstress. Trust me when I say that is a complete and total compliment to Saga and Wayward though as this book is sure to do just as amazingly well if not better.