REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #34

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monstress #34

Monstress #34 is published by Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Sana Takeda, and letters by Rus Wooton. With the Cumaean chemical weapon reducing the Arcanic of Revanna to madness, all those inside the city are in grave danger. When Maika and company are confronted by the chemical-induced rages of The Queen of Wolves, drastic actions must happen if they are to survive.

From the first moments, we were introduced to Maika Halfwolf; she has been a woman imprisoned by the past. Whether it was the calamity of Constantine, the secrets of her parents or the blood of the Shaman Empress that flows in her veins, every step that Maika has taken through her journey has been heavily dictated by her past. But it looks like things may be changing with Monstress #34.

Writer Liu once again perfectly delivers a critical moment in this story with all the power and impact I have come to expect of this series. Within the veritable maelstrom of rage that The Queen of Wolves has been reduced to, Liu delivers each of the story’s primary characters at their most basic selves. Tuya’s focus on the larger cause, The Warlord’s focus on herself, to Kippa’s only concern being Maika’s safety. And as it often seems, it is to Kippa that the pivotal part comes that will help Maika overcome another struggle. But what is family for if not that, right? And Maika has no truer family in the world than Kippa.

The power of Monstress #34‘s moments is brought fully to bear thanks to the continued work of artist Takeda. While every issue of this series is better for the artist’s incredible work, this issue, in particular, plays perfectly into Takeda’s greatest strengths. The massive amount of energy that swirls throughout the main scene would be beyond many artists’ ability to harness. But Takeda never lets it get away. Every gust of wind that rips at one of the characters to each fang bared by The Queen of Wolves rage feels precisely calculated and masterfully delivered.

When the raging tempest of Monstress #34‘s story is momentarily broken for a bit of internal reflection on the part of Maika and Zinn, this too comes with the same strength and purpose as the rest of the story. How Liu’s writing and Takeda’s art can combine to deliver the howling fury of an emotional storm and the subtle strength of newfound conviction together in a way that feels so balanced and natural is nothing short of magic.

Adding a final touch to all the awesome moments contained here is Wooton’s letter work. The letterer strives to augment the energy of the moments with plenty of big, bold fonts and perfectly crafted sound effects work. They manage to utilize the letters here to feed into the story’s energy without undermining the gravitas of the moments.

When the dust settles from Monstress #34, it seems certain that something new is on the horizon for this brilliant story. A turning point has been reached, and I cannot even begin to imagine what comes next. All I know is I cannot wait to find out.

Monstress #34 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


Monstress #34
5

TL;DR

When the dust settles from Monstress #34, it seems certain that something new is on the horizon for this brilliant story. A turning point has been reached, and I cannot even begin to imagine what comes next. All I know is I cannot wait to find out.