Maneaters #5 is a comic published by Image Comics, written by Chelsea Cain, with pencils by Kate Niemczyk, inks by Elise McCall, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, and letters by Joe Caramagna.
While the hunt for the werepanther continues, we spend much of this issue five months in the past to gain further insight into the world Maneaters inhabits. This issue provides many fascinating glimpses into this world, even if the plot simmers for this issue. From twelve-year-old girls discussing Nietzschean Existentialism in their school bathroom, to the further indications that not everything about the cat transformations may be as it seems, I found myself flipping the pages in eager anticipation for more insight into this world and characters which I have found intriguing since issue one. And even when the issue ended, I was still wanting more.
Chelsea Cain’s writing continues to shine in Maneaters #5 as she further develops her stunning cast. I am particularly fond of Maude’s dad. He is such a relatable character. He is always trying, even when completely out of his depth and I just know he will be there for Maude in the end. A wonderful “tips from dad” moments create a very memorable impression of him that I absolutely loved. And all of the overarching looks at society’s inequalities are on full display. Just as the book hadn’t pulled any punches in previous issues it isn’t about to start now and I am immensely pleased with all it has to say. And the in-world ads throughout the book continue to increase the immersion into this world in a way that I wish was more common in media.
The artwork, from the pencils, inks, and colors does a superb job bringing all the story elements to life in a crisp, clear, and enjoyable manner. The page layouts themselves were interesting and they continue the books willingness to push the design envelope in the best possible ways. From the regular panels to schematics, and other visuals everything about this book’s art continues to stand out creatively.
As I mentioned earlier, the only complaint one could potentially level against this issue is that it doesn’t really move the main narrative along. But, given all the information we are treated to, both concerning the characters and the world, I didn’t feel in the least bogged down or like I had gone through a filler issue. It was background and the world-building is done in the best of ways. By being engaging and interesting, without any long monologues to fill in the reader as such stories often fall back on. Even if the information is such that everyone involved should already know what is being discussed.
I loved my time with this book, and it continues to be one of my most anticipated reads each month. With the trifecta of amazing characters, memorable art, and a story that is not only interesting but has relevant statements to make, this book continues to stay strong, without any signs of slowing down.
Maneaters #5 is available in comic book stores and digital retailers everywhere January 30th.
I loved my time with this book, and it continues to be one of my most anticipated reads each month.