REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #38

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monstress #38

Monstress #38 is published by Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Sana Takeda and letters by Rus Wooton. As Maika and Zinn struggle within the confines of Maika’s mind, the trip to the Dusk Court is completed. But what awaits Kippa, Corvin, and her upon their arrival is anyone’s guess. And they aren’t the only ones with struggles awaiting them.

Rarely have I seen a fictional world that manages to be equally beautiful and terrifying as the one Liu and company have crafted here. Yet, while this has always been the case, the unsettling grandeur of the story’s world reaches new heights with the arrival at the Dusk Court. From the disconcerting barrier used to protect the Court from attack to the group members themselves, nothing about the location and its inhabitants falls short of being visually overpowering.

Along with its sheer weight of presence, the newest location within Monstress‘s world brings an acute sense of age. Everything about the place feels old but not due to decay or maltreatment. No, Takeda somehow manages to imbue the characters and the place they call home with an aura that simply makes them feel as if they have existed for millennia. I can’t fully describe it, but it is there, and it is striking.

While the newest elements of the series make their presence felt throughout Monstress #38, this is still a story that focuses on its core cast. While Maika remains in her dream state, the story focuses on Kippa, Corvin, and Tuya. While most of the time spent with the first two is merely setting the groundwork for the story to come, it is with Tuya that the story brings some deep revelations about her, her motivations, and the powers that reside within her. Even though the taste of her betraying Maika can’t be fully cleansed by what this issue reveals, it does restore some of Tuya’s humanity. What the story does with the character going forward is of far greater interest to me now that I know what this issue tells us about her.

Beyond the crafting of the new elements in Monstress #38, the art continues to work tirelessly to bring the reader all the emotion, mysticism, and terror that the world it creates can provide. Just as with the narrative side of the issue, Takeda’s art puts a special emphasis on Tuya and her struggles. Her crucial moment in this book delivers everything one could ask of it without a single misstep.

Rounding out the book’s visual design is the lettering. Wooton once more manages to place the lettering with skill to guide the reader through the story while never intruding upon the core elements of Takeda’s gorgeous art.

As with so many of the issues before it, Monstress #38 delivers another near-perfect entry into this fantastic story. As Liu and company continue to bring more of the world into focus, I cannot help but become more enamored by its terrifying beauty.

Monstress #38 is on sale now wherever comics are sold.


Monstress #38
5

TL;DR

Monstress #38 delivers another near-perfect entry into this fantastic story. As Liu and company continue to bring more of the world into focus, I cannot help but become more enamored by its terrifying beauty.