If you like beautiful artwork featuring horrible beings, both human and not, and great gouts of blood, these are for you.
Monstress, Vol 1 and Vol 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Set in an alternate world of art deco beauty and steampunk horror, Montress tells the epic story of Maika Halfwolf, a teenage survivor of a cataclysmic war between humans and their hated enemies, the Arcanics. In the face of oppression and terrible danger, Maika is both hunter and hunted, searching for answers about her mysterious past as those who seek to use her remain just one step behind…and all the while, the monster within begins to awaken…
The story is convoluted, dense, fantastical, horrifically violent, and so, so captivating. Even when I wasn’t entirely sure of the action or motivations of characters, I was mesmerized. Maika Halfwolf is an amazing anti-heroine– root for her at your peril. She’s in it for herself, has her own reasons for fighting, and isn’t above sacrificing others to get where she needs to go. And the artwork! Gorgeous, dynamic, and intricately detailed. I stared at pages, mesmerized. My only criticism is that so far, neither the story or the art have touched me– oh yes, there have been visceral moments, but I feel them at a distance. 4 stars.