Monstress No. 19: Rescue missions and bear kings


Monstress is back and as beautiful as ever.

You’d have to be willfully ignorant in the comics world to not have heard of Image Comics’ Monstress, the Eisner-award winning series from writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda. Five Eisners, actually. Lettered by Rus Wooton, this comic won “Best Writer”, “Best Painter/Multimedia Artist”, “Best Cover Artist”, “Best Publication for Teens”, and “Best Continuing Series”. Those are some serious accolades, justly deserved, because this comic is pretty much like nothing you’ve ever seen.

From the script to the colors, the lines to the themes, Monstress is a deeply visceral experience. After a healthy break, the creators are back with the nineteenth issue, and it focuses on the aftermath of a portal opening up, an Old God entering the realm, and its entrance causing widespread madness.

Image Comics

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Kippa is Ancient-blessed, but it might not be a good thing

Last issue, Ren betrayed everyone and got Kippa kidnapped. This issue starts with a flashback to baby Kippa, receiving a blessing from an Ancient. While it seems like maybe it’s a good sign, perhaps it’s a real bad sign. Good foreboding, there. Back in the present, Kippa is being hauled in a cage by a red demon, accompanied by a couple of mercenary cats, big ol’ boys covered in scars and armor. They’re passing through where the Old God’s passage caused widespread insanity, and have to fight off several packs of maddened Arcanics, losing one of the cats in the fighting. They hustle up to some ruins, and are met by a little blue demon boy, very snazzily dressed. Kippa is being brought to a mysterious Doctor, the lack of knowledge about which has kept us in suspense for a while now.  Monstress is excellent with the suspense.

Image Comics

Maika and Corvin battle the insane in Monstress

On their way to track down Kippa and the kidnappers Maika and Corvin, riding black and white unicorns (of course they are), also encounter the psychotic Arcanic mobs, who want to kill Maika for looking like a human. Several pages of glorious battle ensue, with Takeda’s impressive sweeping lines and panel structure heightening the sense of danger and action. Maika has a vision of Tuya, who betrayed her, and learns about Corvin’s injuries, sustained at the explosion at Constantine.

Monstress has seemed like it’s been building up to them sharing a moment, so it’s not surprising that it finally happened. Corvin drops some knowledge about Maika’s surviving of the Constantine blast, along with seven other Arcanics. Intrigue! Somewhere else, Kippa has some light-up-eye mojo happening, allowing the weird neon butterflies inside the little blue demon to be seen. Inner sight is a cool power, yeah.

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Kippa makes a break for it and falls into a hole. The two demons ordered to capture her won’t follow after, because the hole is the entrance to the tomb of Baru, the dead bear king. There the issue ends, with another cliffhanger and the suspense back through the roof. It was great to read the new issue, after waiting several months for it to come out. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.