REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #31

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monstress #31

Monstress #31 is published by Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda, and letters by Rus Wooton. After a hiatus from the main narrative, Monstress returns as both the Courts and the Federation prepare to make their next moves in the unfolding war. And at the center of it all remains Maika. Who, as always, has a plan of her own. And while her long journey has already cost her greatly, what comes next is something she may not be prepared for.

With the story picking back up shortly after the pitched battle for Ravenna, Monstress #31 delivers a narrative tale centered on set up and reintroduction while also delivering plenty of the powerful character moments Lui’s writing delivers so magnificently.

Every major facet of the story is revisited here, from the core group, sheltered within Ravenna’s walls, to the Holy City of Aurum and Pontus by the sea, the book gives every group there due, while not giving away too much of what is to come next. With many of these groups being the political entities that rule the various portions of the world, the story has no want of courtly plotting and intrigue. This, coupled with the aforementioned character moments, keep the book from suffering for the setup it focuses on in the narrative.

While the intrigue in Monstress #31 is scattered across the world, the tale’s character is focused squarely on Ravenna. With great moments from Maika, Corvin and Kippa easily stealing the book’s personality. There is even a moment of genuine levity with the three characters that made me laugh out loud. Suffice it to say, Corvin and Maika will have no-nonsense out of Kippa.

Just as Lui’s writing returns without missing a beat, one can easily say the same for Takeda’s art. That beautifully melancholic heartbreaking beauty that has always imbued this story’s pages has lost none of its power. From the lofty, overly ornamented garments of the powerful, Maika’s striking new hairstyle, even Kippa’s eternal innocence, and the haunting look of the Monstrums, every element is delivered with pitch-perfect placement.

This superb design is furthered by the unique colorwork that is equally iconic of Takeda’s work on the series as it’s the overall design. The use of light and dark and the way the colors balance out panels and pages give the book a mellow tone that doesn’t dismiss its sense of power, like a storm that is being held just over the horizon.

Rounding out the presentation is Wooton’s letter work. The lettering does as good a job as possible, blending in with its surroundings, allowing the art to hold center stage.

As Monstress #31 closes, a huge moment lands with grace and power that only this series could pull off. How the end builds, to then come crashing down, is a potent example of the unique power of the comic medium’s ability to blend words and art into a potent moment. I was eager for this issue to come out and my anticipation for the next issue is tenfold.

Monstress #31 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

 

Monstress #31
5

TL;DR

As Monstress #31 closes, a huge moment lands with grace and power that only this series could pull off. How the end builds, to then come crashing down, is a potent example of the unique power of the comic medium’s ability to blend words and art into a potent moment. I was eager for this issue to come out and my anticipation for the next issue is tenfold.