REVIEW: ‘Monstress,’ Issue #44

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monstress #44

With Zinn and Maika captured by the Old Gods, Kippa, Ren, and young Maika’s ghost are on the run from the Defiled. But the dangers only seem to grow for the group as the events of Monstress #44, published Image Comics, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sanada Takeda, and letters by Rus Wooton play out.

For this book’s opening, we see the two halves of the split party serving different narrative purposes. Being held captive by the Old Gods, Liu uses Maika and Zinn to flesh out what is happening in the prison the group has accidentally sent itself to. This exposition is well done, and seeing Zinn forced to deal with his kind is an interesting scenario, given the history, the series has built out for him concerning his dealings with his people.

While this side of Monstress #44 focuses on ZInn for the most part, it’s Maika that steals this scene. As the one now trapped in another’s body, Maika shows as little patience for the scenario as we often saw Zinn have in the early portions of the series. Though Maika’s assertiveness goes to a whole new level when she learns that Kippa is within the confines of the prison and in deathly peril. But Maika’s grudging love and protectiveness of the young Kippa have always been one of my favorite parts of this book.

Meanwhile, we see the dangers within the prison as Ren, Kippa, and young Maika are pursued by the Defiled. Seeing an Old God fleeing outright from the monsters serves as an excellent establisher for the level of threat these beings present. Scattered throughout the daring chance and brutal encounters, Liu sprinkles snippets of hints for story points that point to some characters having special qualities to them previously unknown. But it wouldn’t be an issue of Monstress without some juicy hints to keep us all hooked.

These moments of danger flow magnificently together thanks to Takeda’s gorgeous art. Despite the unusual design of many of the characters seen in this book and how much goes on in some of these panels, Takeda manages to keep it all straight for the reader so as not to hamper their enjoyment of the journey with unclear imagery. This smoothness of presentation is further complemented by Wooton’s skillful lettering job that places all the book’s dialogue so as not to interrupt all the excitement.

However, this sequence’s biggest triumph is in its continued rebuilding of Ren. Since his return, he has had an uphill battle to get himself back in the readers’ good graces since his betrayal was revealed. Monstress #44 gives him more chances to show his strength of character in the best way possible.

Monstress #44 continues to build upon its momentum as the series’ lore and danger continues to come at a brisk pace for the reader. What new surprise awaits in each new issue is a question that Liu and Takeda have answered so superbly for so long that, at this point, it feels far less likely for a surprise to fail than to succeed.

Monstress #44 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Monstress #44


Monstress #44 continues to build upon its momentum as the series’ lore and danger continues to come at a brisk pace for the reader.

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