Writer: Marjorie Liu / Artist: Sana Takeda / Image
The second interlude for Monstress is set up exactly similarly as its predecessor, although this time the flashback is courtesy of Maika. It’s a rare glimpse into the backstory of the protagonist of the series, and as a piece in conversation with Kippa’s own recollection and the series as the whole, Talk-Stories #2 does a magnificent job at getting to core of Maika.
After the framing device reminds us of the dire situation that Kippa and Maika find themselves in, we pivot to a time where Maika was “happy” which feels like an odd word to apply to her after all of the things that have happened in the series proper. And Maika even comments on that at the very start of the issue about how happy memories are things that can both empower and be a crutch, a poignant point all things considered. And as Maika provides more details about this encounter, we are fortunate enough to see the origins of one of the most iconic characters in recent memory.
Maika’s strong will and determination is something we are accustomed to, and we have seen what obligations and expectations have been set upon her, so seeing her carefree and cared for provides a fascinating counter point. It’s a personable narrative. It’s one that lacks the same visceral reaction that Kippa’s story provides but still resonates.
Liu’s writing and Takeda’s artwork are as stellar as ever, and this intermission help provided some emotional beats and help get me excited for the return of the series which is really all you can ask for.
8.8 “Memories” out of 10
Reading Montress: Talk-Stories? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.