My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*Received an advance galley from Image*
If anything, I would say that this volume is better than the first. I struggled a little in the beginning, just because the story is complex and it had been a while since I read vol. 1. However, I settled into the narrative pretty quickly.
Being a little more contained in scope, I found the storyline in vol. 2 to be easier to follow – not that the story in vol. 1 was bad – and part of it may just have been the fact that I was more familiar with the world this time around. Volume 2 also has a more intimate feel with high personal stakes for the protagonist.
And the scope of this series is one of its greatest strengths. The world of Monstress is complex and unique, but also fully-realized. This is seen in the intricate and rich detail of the writing, but also in the absolutely beautiful artwork that further helps set this series apart. Through writing and art, the creators take world-elements that could potentially be kind of strange, and make them all feel like natural parts of the the world.
Balancing the dark, the gruesome, and the epic alongside a very human story – and interspersed with bits of humor – Monstress is a delight to read in so many ways. My only continuing complaint is that the cursing doesn’t always feel completely integrated into the writing, but that was less of a problem in this volume – and it’s a relatively minor issue in comparison to everything this series does so well.
It’s a mature story, and a little unsettling in moments, but it’s an expertly crafted narrative with some of the best art I’ve ever seen in comics. It’s epic fantasy with a human heart and has something to offer long-time comics readers and as well as those who maybe haven’t ever picked up a graphic novel. I continue to be totally impressed, and I look forward to reading more of this series.