And now, this special report! Your Major Spoilers review of Man-Eaters #4 awaits!
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Neimczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 26, 2018
Previously in Man-Eaters: This exclusive special report will be a must-buy for MAN-EATERS fans and collectors, while also acting as a stand-alone entry point for those who are new to the series. “CAT FIGHT” is the illustrated cat defense manual you, and your customers, have been waiting for!
A REALLY ENTERTAINING PREMISE
So, if you’ve been following Man-Eaters (and you should be doing so, it’s a really good, really sharp book), you know that it takes place in a reality where Toxoplasmosis has mutated from a harmless disease that affects our kitty friends. Toxoplasmosis X turns women into giant panther-monsters who will kill and eat you, and the treatment of women as dangerous problems to be solved drives the heart of the series. This issue is presents as the latest issue of ‘CAT FIGHT’, a magazine designed to help protect young men from women. It has valuable information (from some perspectives anyway) on how to stay safe from big cat attacks, interviews with S.C.A.T. (Special Cat Apprehension Team) members and a lot of satirical ads for products that you can purchase, provided you live in a reality where this is a real book. The entire issue is full of side-stories, subtle jokes and a lot of important context and world-building, ending with a letters page that I’m still laughing about.
A REAL GAMBLE, BUT ONE THAT PAYS OFF
When I picked up this issue, I had thought we were in for more of the story of Maude, the central figure of our first three issues, but what we got instead was more entertaining, as long as you buy into the premise of the story. The savage satire of the first three issues is completely dialled up here, but done in such a way that you never feel like you’re reading a parody of a real magazine, but in fact a real artifact. Most impressively, it actually feels like a professionally produced magazine aimed at kids of a certain age, and I enjoy how it stretches the boundaries of what a comic book can be. The meta-narrative presented here is great and lends itself to multiple re-reads. After last issue’s use of a real photograph for the new reporter, this is the next natural step for the book, and while it’s a little bit disappointing to not get more of Maude, this issue is really successful.
BOTTOM LINE: ENDLESSLY REREADABLE
The entire underpinning of this series has been the treatment of women, especially young women, and Man-Eaters #4 brings that on every page, from ads to articles to the Q&A pages brings that home in clever ways without over-playing its hand, and even a lack of Kate Neimczyk’s art doesn’t hurt the entertainment value, leaving the book with 4 out of 5 stars overall. It’s an unusual reading experience but one that I highly recommend.
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It's not what I expected, but it's still a really impressive achievement.