And so we have arrived at the finale for the first arc of Monstress. The last issue left off on a dangerous and shocking moment, so let’s see how our protagonist gets out of this one. Is it good?
Monstress #6 (Image Comics)
And… our protagonist does not get out of this one. Maika Halfwolf has been beaten and shoved into a box that has put her into a deep coma off-panel. She and the strange creature in her mind called a Monstrum are combing the memories of the past for some answers. Maybe something that could help them too. On the outside, a battle between the Federation and witches and the Arcanic rages on…
Monstress #6 is a thrilling finale to the first story arc. While it is annoying that the last issue’s cliffhanger was just quickly glanced over (the whole epic battle happened off panel), the comic does make up for it by giving readers plenty of excitement. There are a couple of fights, including
The rest of the cast unfortunately doesn’t feel as developed. Kippa is alright, but she strikes me as the standard morality kid that’s there to be adorable and help Maika keep herself together. She doesn’t do anything and her trust in Maika seems iffy. Master Ren is amusing and smart, but that’s it. Corvin has motivations, but they’re vague and not well defined. The main villain is intimidating and the reveal with her was great, but the rest of the villains left a bit to be desired. Two of them, who were regularly chasing our heroes for most of the arc, disappear for most of the issue and only briefly cameo at the end. Yvette didn’t really do a lot, and I’m honestly surprised
Sana Takeda’s artwork is fantastic looking here. The characters are wonderfully drawn, being both distinguishable from one another and creatively designed (Mother Superior really stands out in particular this issue with almost Junji Ito-like influences). The layouts are nice and despite being a cluttered in some panels, never are a detriment to following what is happening. The action, while eye-catching in terms of design and brutality, is on the static side and does not particularly flow well or have a great sense of motion to it. Takeda also has these moments where her art style gets rather manga-ish with the big eyes and more exaggerated facial expressions in some panels. Unfortunately, while not often, this little quirk with the art doesn’t really work or fit the tone of the book. It always feels out of place in such a serious story whenever something looks very cutesy or Chibi-ish.
Is It Good?
Monstress #6 is a great finale for the first arc, especially for the fans that are able to keep up with its extensive politics and lore. If you have difficulty with that though, it does feel harder to get invested in when you don’t feel connected to the characters or understand the motivations that well. Otherwise, there’s a lot right to this comic when it comes to its main character, story, and artwork. Hopefully, the comic keeps up the momentum and excitement when it returns in August.