Political intrigue continues in Monstress #32. Follow Maika Halfwolf as she handles the strife between Arcanics and Humans in this hit series by Image Comics! 


Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Colorist: Sana Takeda
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Jennifer M. Smith
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 24th, 2021 

Previously in Monstress: Maika is adamantly opposed to the choices of the Warlord of the Dawn Court who happens to be Maika’s aunt. Warlord is also ambitious about the secrets Moriko Halfwolf, Maika’s mother, had and believes that Maika knows more then she lets on. These feelings are expounded when Tuya married the Warlord and Maika caught them in an act of intimacy.


Maika is confronted by the Warlord and Tuya about her trespassing on their quarters. After an almost violent argument, both Tuya and Maika are thrown in jail. In jail, Zinn, the creature within Maika, reveals itself to Tuya to show that it still has power. Maika is easily able to rescind it back to its body and it seems to have been a power move to intimidate Tuya. As they sleep in the night, Warlord comes to murder Maika but is unable to overpower Zinn. To make things more complicated, Maika uses the pendant on her neck to summon her grandmother, the Queen of Wolves.


Perhaps reviewing Monstress is never the best choice. The cast of characters and intrigue is hard to grasp in a simple synopsis of the comic. As I revise this review, if I didn’t have context, I wouldn’t have a dang clue why any of this matters. Instead of going into how this is connected to other aspects of the world, I think I am going to focus on the big theme here which is war and family. And rather, how war destroys families. This particular issue seems to be around Warlord wanting to know the weapon that Maika’s mother knew about. A weapon which is an instrument of war, led to an aunt trying to murder her niece. That is the most heart breaking part of it, when family tries to kill family. If you can swallow that theme, then you enter in sections of genocide and poorly treated refugees. It leads to a gritty world that really comes to life and I think that is the magic of the world building.


I think if you like content similar to Game of Thrones then this title is for you. The political intrigue, the world at war, and the characters slipping between what is morally correct is great content here. I love this series, the east Asian influences in the story, and the art is simply superb. For me, I think this issue is a 4.5 out of 5. A high recommendation from me for the right reader.

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Monstress #32

Great Series

After the drama of last issue, Monstress #32 shows the aftermath and the emotions of all parties involved.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Tulsa, OK. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com


  1. HI! I don’t want to be critical, but this review is very poorly written. Also, I am unclear on whether or not the reviewer has actually read the rest of the series. He seems to indicate that he has yet his description of the “theme” of the issue -i.e., family torn apart by war – is lacking, at best. The Warlord tries to kill Maika presumably because she does not think she needs her anymore (now that she knows her wife knows all of Maika’s secrets) and perhaps because she wishes to strike back at her dead and hated sister. But she also does this because she has no understanding of what the “weapon” that Maika knows about actually is. It is only when Zinn comes forth that, perhaps, the Warlord finally begins to understand what may have happened in Constantine. Remember, for the whole series, the Warlord has been seeking this weapon because she knows it is what saved the Arcanics in the last war, yet she does not know what it is. Now she does and how she will deal with it remain one of the critical questions going forward. This is a great series, on that we can certainly agree, but its poltical complexities and complex themes need careful attention.

    • Evening, I appreciate the critical attention. The main point of the review is to review the single issue and not the series. When talking about the theme, I am looking at the theme being explored in this particular issue. You brought up many great points that is true to the series as a whole. For someone who is looking at this particular issue and this issue only, I believe the broken family theme is going to come to the forefront.

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