Monstress Has The Best Cat In Comics Right Now

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

Monstress is a comic-book series where incredibly messed-up things happen. We're talking child slavery, lynchings and cannibalism. Thank the poets it's also got a magical, two-tailed talking cat named Master Ren.

Spoilers follow.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

The lead character in Monstress is a 17-year-old girl named Maika, a survivor of horrible atrocities rippling out of a long-running, cross-cultural necromantic war. Ever since the series by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda started, Maika's been struggling with her own inner savagery, which has burned hotter after her abduction into internment camps, forced labour and the presence of a malevolent elder deity in her body. The series debut saw Maika pulling off a bloody escape from a lab in Cumea, where the aloof witch society experiments on half-human, half-celestial Arcanic creatures like her.

Early on, Monstress #1 sprinkles some seedlings about how special — and shady — cats are in its fictional universe.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now
Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

Maika's capture and breakout are part of a brewing plan to find out the truth about the long-ago death of her mother. A flashback sequence is the first time we meet Master Ren, who tells Maika that her plan isn't too smart.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

That sequence establishes the dynamic that's played out between the two characters so far. Maika's profane, impetuous ferocity constantly butts heads with Ren's cautious, worldly wisdom.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now
Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

When faced with the threat of the witches who've been hunting them, Ren invokes an impressive resume...

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

...which is, of course, total bullshit.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

Ren isn't a coward, though. He intervened to save the humans who were helping Maika and other Arcanics to safety.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

The thing about Master Ren's portrayal that's so good is that it homes in on the vague suspicions that humans have about real-world cats. They seem like they know a lot more about the world than we can figure out and like they talk a lot of shit about every other kind of species. They know we don't understand them and don't care. Master Ren is nurturing and strategically prudent but also caustically blunt when telling Maika about herself.

Back-up sections in Monstress have shown another cat called Professor Tam Tam holding forth on the history of the series' mystical universe. But in this week's issue #5, another chubbier feline showed up, working with the elites of Arcanic society to hunt down Maika.

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now
Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

Laughing at him seems like a really bad idea...

Monstress Has the Best Cat in Comics Right Now

Comments

    The artwork is brilliant and the story is rather intriguing; seriously considering getting this comic series.

    Really enjoying it so far, althought the kindle version doesnt let you zoom in which made it really hard to read some pages on my phone

    This looks quite good. My only gripe would be maybe an over-use of cussing? Im no goody two shoes but some of it seemed a bit forced or out of place with the style and setting (this isnt a fantasy Sin City story, is it?). To be fair I could be wrong as i havent read it yet . But words have more power and impact the less they're used. It was a cute touch with "nekomancer" tho. This kind of reminds me of a book i read years ago about cats that were powerful magicians. They had a language of 6 consonants and 27 vowels and where they sat and watched people and other cats was a highly tactical kind of chess for alley cats. Thats all i remember of it. If anyone knows the name of this book please let me know as it was a really good read and if you do ill sing praises of your awesomeness til the end of my days!

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