REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #41

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Monstress #41
Content Warning: Monstress #41 contains a scene of self-harm

Monstress #41 is published by Image Comics and written by Marjorie Liu, with art by Sana Takeda and letters by Rus Wooton. With the Dusk Court continuing their experiments to harness Maika’s power gone horribly wrong, her body now threatens to tear the Court down even as Maika remains a prisoner in her mind, struggling with her recent revelations.

Most of this issue’s story focuses on the twin struggles surrounding Maika. The narrative does an excellent job of balancing the physical carnage in the external struggle against the emotional carnage that Maika endures within. These split struggles give Monstress #41 a sense of variety in its narrative while not letting up on the tension throughout its tale.

While the external conflict provides lots of action and hints at things to come, it is the internal struggle that comes to dominate the narrative. As the core of Maika’s journey has always been about what lies within her, long-time fans will not be surprised by this. With Kippa and Ren’s arrival in her mind, Maika may just have a shot at recovering. However, the pain that has built up in her and how much she blames herself for so many of the struggles that have dogged her since childhood become brutally clear during this issue. Maika’s ability to endure and push onward has always been one of her defining characteristics. Now, she will need every ounce of that if her friends manage to help her piece herself back together.

Despite the narrative being largely dominated by Maika’s internal struggles, Liu makes sure to deliver some interesting developments in the other half of Monstress #41. The most significant is the Blood Court emissary, who steps up to confront Maika’s out-of-control body. While who this stranger is remains a mystery, there are some interesting clues dropped that could point to another huge reveal coming when the series returns this winter. If nothing else though, they at least present a powerful force for Maika and company to contend with.

Just as the previous issues of this story arc have delivered Maika’s mindscape wonderfully, Monstress #41 is no exception. Sanada holds nothing back in her portrayal of Maika’s emotional turmoil, as this sequence delivers one of the book’s most brutal moments yet. The pain, fear, and sorrow of the struggles are some of the series’ best visual works.

Sanada doesn’t only excel at delivering emotion in this issue, though. The artist also does a great job of delivering the bedlam outside as Maika’s run-away body rips through the Dusk Court’s home. The art makes the reader feel encompassed by the turmoil, dragging them into the thick of the moment.

Finishing off the visuals is the lettering. The lettering works to deliver the emotion of the story well. It pushes the character’s feelings to the forefront while keeping the text feeling appropriate for the visual style of the art.

When all is said and done, Monstress #41 delivers a fantastic chapter into the evolving story of Maika and her companions. While it pains me that this is the last issue till winter, the moments it leaves readers with guarantees they will be eager to pick it back up when it returns.

Monstress #41 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Monstress #41
5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Monstress #41 delivers a fantastic chapter into the evolving story of Maika and her companions. While it pains me that this is the last issue till winter, the moments it leaves readers with guarantees they will be eager to pick it back up when it returns.

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