Comic Review: Monstress: Talk Stories #1 (Image Comics)

Monstress: Talk Stories, a new self-contained two-part story, comes to us this week from Image. Tied to the steampunk-influenced Monstress series, these two issues fill the gap between the title’s […]

Monstress: Talk Stories, a new self-contained two-part story, comes to us this week from Image.

Tied to the steampunk-influenced Monstress series, these two issues fill the gap between the title’s fifth and sixth arc (which resumes in January 2021).

The Monstress title, for those of us who are not regular readers, is set in Asia in the 1900s. In this alternative matriarchal society, a teenage girl is surviving war trauma. She shares a link with a powerful monster, and this connection is central to the saga.

(Kippa, a young Arcanic girl was saved from slavery by Maika Halfwolf at the start of the series, and has been a constant companion of Maika and Ren Mormorian, a necromancer cat.)

Well, there you have it in the briefest Wiki fashion… and how is Talk Stories for a new reader?

Writer Marjorie Liu, illustrator Sana Takeda, and letterer/designer Rus Wooton set the tone early. Maika Halfwolf and Corvin are in the town of Ravenna. Kippa is nearby and recounts a story from her young life.
It’s all about food; how to obtain it, derive nutrients, hide it, and share it. Danger all around, plenty of predators and savage treatment.

It’s a self-contained account, and once the reader is past the introduction page, it’s really all about Kippa. The story is immersive, the visuals are absolutely splendid. Mesmerizing. Atmospheric, engaging, with a storybook look and well-choreographed panel layout. The colour palette is of light earth tones, infused with a magic treatment that’s appropriate for the story.

Looking forward to issue 2 of this one!

Image, Monstress: Talk Stories #1, $3.99 for 23 pages of content. Rated Mature, but suitable for younger readers

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!