REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #35

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monstress #35

Monstress #35 is published by Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Sana Takeda and letters by Rus Wooton. Having donned the two fragments of the Shaman-Empress’s mask, Maika and Zinn merged into one being and successfully defeated the Wolf Queen. Despite this newfound power, the city of Revanna is beyond saving, and those who remain seek refuge on airships poised to carry all they can from the dying city.

There is an old saying, and I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it. It goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I’m starting to suspect this simple saying is not present in the world of Monstress.  Or if it is, some individuals in our story need to start taking better care to heed its wisdom.

With the situation around Revanna quickly fading into the background, Monstress #35 takes the bulk of its time to take stock of the main cast as they are greeted by new, potential allies and old enemies who may be allies and keep an eye on others whose level of threat toward our protagonists are completely up in the air. And while some of these moments are played out with all the skill I have come to expect from this book, there is one particular moment that I simply cannot wrap my mind around. I won’t say what it is, as it would be a major spoiler, but suffice it to say, there is a major lapse in sanity for one of our key characters that will most likely have major ramifications for the plot.

While these interactions occupy our protagonists, Monstress #35 also follows events further afield as well. We see that Maika’s choice to don the pieces of the Shaman-Empress’s mask adversely affects some individuals. And it seems someone has decided to come calling in their opponent’s hour of weakness. And what they seek to acquire could once more shift the balance of power in the days ahead.

While it premiered in the last issue, I couldn’t comment on Maika and Zinn’s merged appearance as it would’ve been a huge spoiler. So I have to start this week’s look at the art by gushing about this magnificent design work on the part of Takeda. The armored form Maika appears in during the fusing with Zinn is like a perfect encapsulation of the entire book. It’s elegant, enthralling, a touch disturbing, and gives off a terrifying aura of lethality.

Beyond this remarkable piece of character design, Monstress #35 brings the emotion of its personal moments with the full impact of Takeda’s considerable skill. Every bit of anger, malice, and rage that dances across these panels are portrayed with the exceptional skill I have expected of this book’s artist.

Finishing up the book’s visual presentation is Wooton’s letters. The letterer does a great job of picking and choosing precisely where to highlight words with bolder text to give those subtle threats the visual cue for the reader to feel.

So, despite what feels like an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment on the part of one of our cast, Monstress #35 still delivers a solid story all around.

Monstress #35 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Monstress #35 
4

TL;DR

So, despite what feels like an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment on the part of one of our cast, Monstress #35 still delivers a solid story all around.