Monstress #40 is published by Image Comics and written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Sana Takeda and letters by Rus Wooton. With Kippa and Ren reunited, Kippa now has an ally in his desperate search for a way to awaken Maika. But can the duo figure out a way to bring her back before the Dusk Court claims control of her and Zinn?
This month’s story begins by continuing its look at a young Tuya as her time as The Baroness begins. Despite my dislike for the character in the present day, I cannot help but feel so badly for the young girl in the past faced with the fact that her very life is being stolen from her.
Once Monstress #40 moves past this brief glimpse into the past, the tale returns to the present to showcase the considerable friction between the Dusk Court members and the recently arrived emissaries from the Blood Court. This scene serves wonderfully to build out the antagonism between the two groups. However, the mutual interests the two hold for Maika and Zinn are the only thing keeping them from coming to blows, and we all know how long such a peace lasts.
The book splits its time between several different individuals and groups as they each pursue their agendas. While all of these scenes bring new information and deeper looks at characters and motivations, as one would expect, the stand out of the book is when Monstress #40 returns to Kippa and Ren. Despite the manner and circumstances surrounding Ren’s departure from Maika and Kippa, the cat’s return is handled in such a way that leaves me feeling nothing but warmth. I guess I can’t feel too bitter about anything that brings such smiles and hopes to Kippa.
The final moments of this story see the game shift again in a way I was not expecting. And I’m fairly certain the outcome isn’t exactly what the architect of the moment had planned either. But, regardless of intent, the moment that acts as the period at the end of this book’s narrative looks likely to spiral out of control and I cannot wait to see what carnage is wrought in the coming issues.
The art throughout Monstress #40 continues to deliver on all the gorgeous settings and captivating character interactions. But while all the typical, phenomenal elements of Takeda’s art continue to grace these pages, the stand out is how striking the coloring is, particularly when Kippa and Ren are together. While most of this story is bathed in cold blues and the panels feature a small glow from the light sources, the scene is bathed in the warm light of a crackling fire when Kippa and Ren are together. This glow, especially with how starkly it contrasts with the rest of the story, helps create the feeling of comfort that the two friends experience with their reunion.
Wooton delivers the lettering wonderfully. The dialogue placement is always handled skillfully. The design and placement of the issue’s various sound effects always meld beautifully with the art as it always manages to augment the presentation rather than clash with it.
When all said and done, Monstress #40 delivers an entry that has character, political intrigue, and a heck of a cliffhanger ending. It feels like things are about to get out of control as the narrative barrels towards the story arc’s end.
Monstress #40 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Monstress #40 delivers an entry that has character, political intrigue, and a heck of a cliffhanger ending.