Monstress Vol. 1 is the story of race, war and friends in the life a 17-year-old girl.
Opening the comic is the scene of a slave auction with a naked armless young Arcanic girl named Maika Halfwolf. She turns out to be the heroine of the story. Halfwolf intentionally got herself captured and sold to the Cumea. She intends to have revenge on the women who killed her mother and forced her into slavery.
The comic focuses on the aftermath of a war between two races. Arcanics are a race which have animal traits or forms, but Halfwolf is a rare Arcanic with human features. The human group called the Cumea who feed on the Arcanics to gain power. After the battle at Constantine a truce was reached between the two groups. However, the continent and the two races are literally separated by a giant wall.
Monstress was drawn by Sana Takeda and was written by Marjorie Liu. It was first published in 2016 by Image Comics and is ongoing.
Monstress has a heavy fantasy setting. It is populated by demons, talking cats and of course the Arcanics have a ton of interesting looking characters..
What really separated this comic from others for me is the fantastic art by Takeda. The art is a vivid manga inspired style. I intend to look Takeda up and see what other comics she has provided art for because I am in love with it.
The story seemed like a bunch of background stuff, but did not a lot of forward progression. I wanted to see something actually happen or set up a big cliffhanger ending, but it didn’t. There is a ton of lore to this story and it is touching on it little by little. It is fine to not cram all that lore in right away, but I need the main story to be compelling and it just was not for me.
A world with such depth can turn into an amazing and epic story to rival the likes of The Lord of the Rings. The lore and the world is there for sure. However, the story is not there in this volume.
My advice would be to keep an eye on the comic and see what people are saying about it. If there is a buzz about volume two and how good the story has gotten then maybe pick it up. Anything short of that and I would advise skipping this comic.
If I had to give this comic a number rating I would say a ⅗. A solid comic but not a run out and buy comic or at least not yet.