Monstress #1

Writer: Marjorie M. Liu Artist: Sana Takeda Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: November 4, 2015 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 25 User Reviews: 28
8.7Critic Rating
9.1User Rating

+ Pull List

Astonishing X-men and Black Widow writer MARJORIE LIU returns to comics with artist SANA TAKEDA (X-23) for an all-new ONGOING SERIES! Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. The adventure begins in a spectacular TRIPLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE, with SIXTY-SIX pages of story and no ads for this one-time price of 4.99!

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Pablo Arriaga Nov 4, 2015

    Marjorie Liu uses full strenght of her prose writing background to establish one of the richest worlds since Saga. With Sana Takeda's amazing art, paneling, and colors, added to the great price of this book, there is no way Image comics doesn't have another smash hit on their hands. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Spartantown - Enrique Rea Nov 4, 2015

    'Monstress' #1 is a dazzling dark fantasy with subversive social and political undertones that cut at the heart our existence now as told through this grim fairytale of vengeance and injustice. Liu and Takeda have taken elements of steampunk, fantasy and kaiju and created a singularly frightening world where a young woman defies her oppressors but doesn't triumph without sacrificing part of her soul. This is the type of storytelling that envelopes you and doesn't let you go. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Big Comic Page - Andrew McGlinn Nov 3, 2015

    Overall, Monstress is quite an exquisite read. Its a delightfully rich experience to be savoured at a slow and relaxed pace. Make sure when you read it that time is taken to drink in the astonishingly wonderful art and absorb yourself in a thoroughly complete world as you join Maika on her journey. Read Full Review

  • 10
    All-Comic - Erik Gonzalez Nov 5, 2015

    The less one knows about this comic the better because its best experienced first-hand. This was the best, and most surprising comic book read this week. Image Comics has added what has the potential to be a groundbreaking series to its line. Theres something for everyone, those who like inventive stories and those who value art will find value in this comic. This title should be added to any serious comic readers pull-list! Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comics Recap - Jeremy Bauer Nov 11, 2015

    It isn't every day that a comic comes that moves me in such a way that it's hard to speak. Liu and Takeda have created such a book. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Nov 4, 2015

    MONSTRESS is a heavy book. Don't let the gorgeous imagery on the cover fool you. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda are not messing around with the heavy themes and situations presented. You'll be captivated by the story that transpires but you'll also feel like you're prying into the personal struggles of the main character. If you're looking for a heavy story with gorgeous artwork along with a big struggle and plenty of action, you'll want to check this out. At $4.99 for sixty-six pages, it's quite a bargain. The story is the kind that will sit with you on your mind and heart well after you finish reading. It's a bleak beginning in a far-from-happy world but you won't be able to turn away. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Graphic Policy - Graphic Policy Team Nov 4, 2015

    Liu in one issue has put together what feels like a thought out world with a history that goes back decades. Battles are referenced, events mentioned, it all feels like its been thought out and meticulously put together. Add on top of that women (well character really) of all types, shapes, sizes, skin color, and you have what is a diverse, in many ways, debut. All of that together creates one of the best debuts, and comics, of the year. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    The Fandom Post - Chris Beveridge Apr 25, 2016

    While I hated that I ended up waiting as long as I did to get into Monstress, I'm glad that I've got half a year's worth of issues to dig into over the next couple of weeks before I have to suffer the wait for new issues like everyone else. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda have put together something here that reminds me of so many of my favorite influential works but bringing their own sense into it all. While the comparatives are there at the moment in order to showcase the way it can be accessible to new readers, this is a series that I believe will stand alongside them for years to come in the same way with other books being compared to it. This is an impressive first issue that has so much potential with the talents involved that it's almost intoxicating. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    IGN - Levi Hunt Nov 5, 2015

    The story is complex, nuanced, and never once holds your hand. Issue 1 is a complete, satisfying, moving story in itself, maybe one of the year's best, and the fact that we have more to come only makes it that much more exciting. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Doom Rocket - Molly Jane Kremer Nov 6, 2015

    Takeda's character design ranges from the adorable to the unsettling. The tiny fox-child Kippa, grasping her fuzzy tail, is an endearing sliver of imperiled innocence in a grim world, while amputees due to cannibalism abound along with kaiju-esque Monstrum. It's this pairing of beauty with despair and, well, monstrousness, that gives Monstress its substantial impression: feathery, gorgeous renderings of the evils of which humanity is capable in its ignorance, and how that brutality affects the people caught in its crosshairs. This is a dramatically stunning debut for an incredibly promising series. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Black Nerd Problems - Carrie McClain Nov 3, 2015

    Other than slavery being what looks like totally legal in this world, there's also somehints of lots of not so greathappenings, like genocide and the obvious discrimination. There is severe mistreatment of other races of beings, as there are humans and non human races present. Be warned that this comic is for mature readers!Issue #1 gave us over 60 pages of dazzling, bloody introduction to Maika's world and a terrifying glimpse of the deep, dark being that haunts her. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Nerds Unchained - Connor Frigon Nov 10, 2015

    Monstress #1 is a confident book. The story is visceral, and exciting whenever it doesn't shock you into silence. Prospective readers shouldbe prepared for intense gore, mutilation and suggested sexual violence. Some scenes will churn your stomach. Those who are able to appreciate how the violence works within the story will find a wonderfully challenging tale. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Florida Geek Scene - Brian Reed Nov 18, 2015

    This is a great book, and I think the size of the this first issue was an excellent choice. I often complain about the slow pace of a #1, and the requisite cliff hanger so you'll ante up for #2, but this book sells you completely on the story instead. There's much more room for details and answers, and the leaves-you-hanging ending doesn't feel nearly as cheap as many books. Sure, it leaves you wanting more, but with anticipation instead of a groan. That's solid reading, in my opinion, and it's just one more reason why you should pick this up today. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    Geeked Out Nation - Grant Raycroft Nov 4, 2015

    Monstress #1 is a wholly unique book, drawing from Chinese and Japanese influences which make it stand out among the traditional Euro-themed clutter. Marjorie Liu creates a dark and dangerous world full of mystery and mysticism that in lesser hands would fall apart but here stands tall. Sana Takeda is truly impressive. If Monsteress maintains a monthly release schedule, she'll deserve an award for such immaculate quality. The series is setting out for a very, very dark tone but if it's for you, it comes highly recommended. Read Full Review

  • 8.7
    Multiversity Comics - Ken Godberson III Nov 9, 2015

    This is one of the strongest openings to a comic this year. Get on board. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    The Rainbow Hub - Mad Moll Green Nov 5, 2015

    The weakest part of this book happens towards the end, as it gets distracted by a lot of complicated backstory. Maika's climatic confrontation with Yvette Lo Lim, the witch she seems to blame for all her troubles, only reveals a bunch of flashes and fragments that don't add up to much"at least not yet. Sure, it's a mystery that'll keep you wondering all the way to issue #2. But the real tantalizing tease isn't the exact details of the Battle of Constantine, or Yvette Lo Lim's relationship to Maika's mother, or who betrayed whom and how. It's the strange, scary thing that's gotten itself attached to Maika"and what she's going to become next. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    PopOptiq - Logan Dalton Nov 4, 2015

    There is one scene of clunky info-dump when a friend of Maika's mother tells and sadly doesn't show some key backstory information about her relationship with Maika's family and a plot element that may be of future importance. However, Monstress #1 is well worth a read because of Marjorie Liu's nuanced characterization, especially of Maika, Sophia, and Tuya in the flashbacks, and application of real world themes into an apocalyptic urban fantasy universe with intricate architectural, character, and monster design from Sana Takeda. It is full of female characters, who aren't necessarily role models, but have rich inner lives and motivations. You'll come for the sun-kissed shelves of Sophia's library and the establishing shots of the Mieville-esque city of Zamora where Sophia does her “research”, but will stay for the hard hitting, emotional story of a young woman named Maika, who is overcoming the very literal monster within her freedom seeking soul. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    AiPT! - Jordan Richards Nov 4, 2015

    Monstress #1 is a comic with a lot to offer in terms of story, world, and character. It can try to do a little too much at times, but the quality of the writing and characters are easily strong enough to elevate the comic past that. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Comicosity - Jessica Boyd Nov 4, 2015

    Monstress is a haunting look at war, that leaves the reader convicted aboutwhat they would be willing to do,in the name ofsurvival. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Noah Sharma Nov 11, 2015

    With sixty-six pages of gorgeous art and haunting storytelling, Monstress is certainly a debut that demands your attention. Marjorie Liu is telling a story with the kind of breadth and polish that you'd usually only find in Saga. Add to that that this book is beautiful and different from nearly anything else on the shelves and you've got quite a start to an intriguing series. The only problem is that Monstress #1 is a very difficult read and one that doesn't necessarily pitch the series well. You won't necessarily know if you're going to love this series when you put this issue down, but Liu and Takeda seem to be counting on you being too blown away to mind. It's a weird start to a series, but a masterful issue. Trust that there are big things in store and trust that you'll be hearing more about Monstress. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Marykate Jasper Nov 6, 2015

    All told, "Monstress" #1 contains one heck of a dark fantasy world. With its impressive range of female representation, truly unique aesthetic and promising conflict, this could be the start of an awesome new series. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    PopMatters - Matthew Fay Dec 11, 2015

    Monstress #1 introduces an extensive, promising mythology to what could prove to be a memorable and poignant fantasy tale. So long as it doesn't get too tied up in its own details, and allows the intricate, elegant world it presents to unfold itself, it could be another great fantasy epic for comics. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Pop Culture Uncovered - soshillinois Nov 5, 2015

    It would be undue to finish up this review without praising Sana Takedas artwork. In lesser hands, the execution would not have worked quite as well as it does. The wide range of people, men, women, and inhuman alike all stand apart, this isnt a series that reuses faces or body types. That the first issue clocks in at 66 pages with no loss of quality is a testament to the people involved. While the first issue is a bit of a rough landing story-wise, that the creators give so much with 66 pages at whats increasingly a common price point for a regular Marvel comic is something else entirely. This is still a comic worth giving a go for any readers looking to check out a new series, or see work from such a fantastic team. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Nov 3, 2015

    The problem being, that ultimately all these visuals and bits of magic are the garnish, rather than the true meat of a story. Monstress may look beautiful, but even at 66 pages, I still feel like there's something missing here - ultimately, that this lead character isn't quite as compelling as the sprawling magical world around her. There is a ton of potential to Liu's story, particularly as she draws in more and more real-world examples of the hellishness of war and the traumas that come in its aftermath. But until we have a strong point of view character to guide us, all the spells in the world won't make this book truly fly. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comic Crusaders - Dawn of Comics Nov 6, 2015

    The story is a little confusing with talk of wars and walls. None the less it's entertaining, the art is gorgeous which helps. Read Full Review

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