Published on December 27th, 2016 | by Dana Folkard
MONSTRESS #9 REVIEW
Summary: Interesting plot developments filled with intrigue and conspiracy.
Tense and thought-provoking!
The hunt for answers continues as Maika and her companions journey towards to the mysterious Isle of Bones. However, they are unexpectedly attacked and left confused and disoriented in the midst of the raid. Can Maika find those responsible for the attack and recover what was stolen from her in time?
Monstress #9 begins at the Dawn Court where a heated conversation is taking place between the Queen of the Wolves and the Warlord. The subject of Maika and the weapon that the Warlord has been searching for, for years is what is discussed and they clearly disagree with one another. This clearly is a complicated relationship and a lot is revealed between these two in this conversation. Distrust and intrigue plague these two, as they are clearly wary and suspicious of one another. Back on the ship, it’s all hands on deck after a sudden blast rocks the ship, revealing that two hideous monsters, called Rift Fiends, have been hunting them. Maika interrupts the Monstrum from spying on her memories, to aide her as she pursues these formidable foes. Meanwhile, alliances are forming, plots and schemes are being planned and calculating actions are about to be taken.
This issue has a lot of interesting plot developments. Suspicion, distrust and intrigue seems to be the dominant themes here, all of which makes for some interesting character interactions. There is a lot to take in and remember and far as the narrative goes, I wouldn’t call this a light read, however, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Monstress is lore-rich and there is a lot of history for us to discover and learn. We also get to learn more about the Monstrum through the interaction between the horrible Rift Fiends. This is the part of the story that I’m most intrigued about. I want to know more about the Monstrum, a.k.a. “Master of Woes”, as I find this character to be the most interesting. I also enjoy Maika’s internal dialogue, which is directed towards her mother. For a long time I found it hard to like Maika, however, I’m beginning to learn more about her past, which is making me feel more empathy towards her. I’m beginning to understand why she behaves the way she does. In saying that, I still cringe whenever she snaps at Kippa or Ren in a harsh way. I believe this is clever character development by Marjorie Liu, as we discover more about them in every issue and we see the characters grow as the story progresses.
Sana Takeda’s art is enchanting. I never tire of seeing such a diverse array of Arcanics. These lovely hybrid animal, humanoids are all very distinct and unique. I also enjoy the combination of realism mixed with cutesy details and features. For instance, every time I see Kippa, I want to hug her, as she’s so sweet and adorable. There is also so much detail on each page and all of it is very delicate and refined looking. There is a lot for your eye to take in and I find that I often linger on the page for a while, so that I don’t miss anything. The colouring brings a luminescent and almost magical quality to everything. There is a wonderful ethereal glow about the palette, and all of it is very pretty. I also find that this contrasts well with the darker scenes, involving the Monstrum and the Rift Fiends. Dark, moody and muted, these colours give a much more gritty and sinister tone to the story, which I found to be very effective in defining the mood.
Monstress #9 is an intriguing issue, filled with some curious plot developments. So much is going on and I feel like we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of it all. I’m looking forward to discovering more about these conspiracies and seeing whether Maika and her companions will make it to the mysterious Isle of Bones.
I’m giving this issue 4 out of 5 stars!
Title: Monstress #9
Publisher: Image Comics
Creative Team: Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
Reviewer: Dana Folkard