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Thread: Monstress

  1. #16
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunN View Post
    The Zinn question is interesting. Right now, it looks like Zinn fathered at least one child by the Shaman Empress. But is he "male" or "genderless"? It's hard to say in a world where there are none of the "gender roles" that we would recognize and the vast majority of the characters are female. To complicate it further, an interaction between the Warlord and Tuya, her new wife, indicated that women can get other women pregnant in this world - it's not clear if that works one way or if two women can get each other pregnant, which seemed to be what Tuya implied. So, Zinn may well be "genderless" and still capable of "fathering" children. Of course, he is also a completely different biological being, so exactly what he is contributing to the offspring is unclear.

    Yes, Maika is trying to find out more about her mother, who her mother was, and what her mother felt about her. Maika learned that her mother specifically sought out the Doctor, her father, with the goal of having a child. The Doctor was one of the Shaman Empress' direct descendants. This implied that her mother created Maika in the hopes of getting access to Zinn. However, I think you are right - it's clear that her mother did love her and that, whatever her original reasons for having Maika, she ultimately wanted her daughter to be her own person. She also understood that Maika would eventually reshape the world through her own will. It has also come out that Korvin's people (I think they are the Dusk Court) believe that Maika is the incarnation of the Shaman Empress and it is possible that she is, since she has met the SE a number of times in her mind.


    Wait where is that said comics said women can get other women pregnant? I take it it’s not human women rather the Aranics. I look at the deluxe and they listed Zinn as it.It also states there is no understand has to how Zinn and others like it convinced children with humans. I do wonder of Maika will remember what Tuya did as a child.


    Also do you guys think the rumors are true that a show will be made?
    Last edited by AmiMizuno; 09-18-2020 at 01:20 PM.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    Wait where is that said comics said women can get other women pregnant? I take it it’s not human women rather the Aranics. I look at the deluxe and they listed Zinn as it.It also states there is no understand has to how Zinn and others like it convinced children with humans. I do wonder of Maika will remember what Tuya did as a child.


    Also do you guys think the rumors are true that a show will be made?

    In issue #27, there is a scene where the Warlord starts kissing Tuya and Tuya stops her, saying "Stop. It's both our Lunas. We can't afford to make each other pregnant." The Warlord then replies "As if I have time for sex." And, yes, they are both Arcanics. Presumably, this would not apply to human women. So far, there is no indication that Arcanic males can make each other pregnant or carry children though, clearly, they can contribute to the production of children.

    As I said, Zinn may still be an "It" but he/she/it is clearly capable of making an Arcanic woman pregnant. Again, this may not be a "gender" issue, given how little meaning the word seems to have in "Monstress."

    Your last question - will Maika remember what Tuya did as a child? - is a bit puzzling to me. I'm not sure what you're getting at. Maika definitely has clear memories of her time with Tuya as children and her love for Tuya is one of the things she has been holding to throughout the series. In the present storyline, Tuya and Maika's reunion seems imminent, even though Tuya (understandably) seems to be trying to forestall it. The last few issues have all started with flashbacks to what happened when Maika first manifested Zinn at the Battle of Constantine.

    I had not heard there was going to be a show. I think that Monstress is made to be a show but, like all fans, I'm scared of what could be lost in translation.

  3. #18
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunN View Post
    In issue #27, there is a scene where the Warlord starts kissing Tuya and Tuya stops her, saying "Stop. It's both our Lunas. We can't afford to make each other pregnant." The Warlord then replies "As if I have time for sex." And, yes, they are both Arcanics. Presumably, this would not apply to human women. So far, there is no indication that Arcanic males can make each other pregnant or carry children though, clearly, they can contribute to the production of children.

    As I said, Zinn may still be an "It" but he/she/it is clearly capable of making an Arcanic woman pregnant. Again, this may not be a "gender" issue, given how little meaning the word seems to have in "Monstress."

    Your last question - will Maika remember what Tuya did as a child? - is a bit puzzling to me. I'm not sure what you're getting at. Maika definitely has clear memories of her time with Tuya as children and her love for Tuya is one of the things she has been holding to throughout the series. In the present storyline, Tuya and Maika's reunion seems imminent, even though Tuya (understandably) seems to be trying to forestall it. The last few issues have all started with flashbacks to what happened when Maika first manifested Zinn at the Battle of Constantine.

    I had not heard there was going to be a show. I think that Monstress is made to be a show but, like all fans, I'm scared of what could be lost in translation.
    Oh. I'm trying to figure out just how far her memory lost goes. It seems she can't remember what happened with her mother. Makes me wonder what side will Ren be on if any. I thought she didn't remember Constantine too well.
    I mean all we know is some unknown force dropped the barrier between old gods and humans. It makes me wonder how arcanic anatomy is.
    Last edited by AmiMizuno; 09-19-2020 at 03:08 PM.

  4. #19
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    In the most recent issues' flashbacks, Maika doesn't remember the actual event of summoning Zinn and his subsequent destruction of Constantine. She remembers everything leading up to this and afterwards. Tuya was present for the whole thing and even kills another of the children there who wants to tell everyone what he saw (the child is religious and believes it was a miracle that the Old God came to save them). Tuya also tells the other children that no one is to tell Maika what happened. When Maika wakes up, she has no memory, but she and Tuya are both shocked to see that most of Maika's arm has disappeared. But the stump is smooth and doesn't hurt her.

    It's evident that Maika later knows what happened at Constantine, even if she doesn't remember it. Either Tuya eventually told her or she figured it out for herself when Zinn began to manifest and affect her behavior (like her hunger).

    The thing with her mother is interesting. So far, there has not been much revealed about what happened around her mother's death. I have a vague recollection that Maika ran away into the desert the night her mother was killed (their dig was attacked or somehow exploded, I beleieve) and was subsequently caught by the human forces. She met Tuya at some point soon after who, obviously, was planted there to make contact with her. She has some memory of the night her mother died but we just don't know how much as yet.

  5. #20
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    Yea, she stated there was an explored. Who do you think caused it? Do you think Tuya had a hand? Do you think Tuya even cares for Maika? One of the things that I wonder is how real are the old gods. What I mean is since the Aracanics prays do can they answer them? We do know Kippa was blessed

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    Yea, she stated there was an explored. Who do you think caused it? Do you think Tuya had a hand? Do you think Tuya even cares for Maika? One of the things that I wonder is how real are the old gods. What I mean is since the Aracanics prays do can they answer them? We do know Kippa was blessed
    Hi! Well, Kippa was blessed by an Ancient Arcanic - someone like the Wolf Queen or the Blood Fox or whatever Vinh is (though it seems that Vinhi is much more than just an Ancient). The "Old Gods" are real but, from what I can gather, they are worshipped as such only by the hybrid Arcanics who don't realize or remember that it was a war between the Old Gods and the Ancient Arcanics that led to the Old Gods being imprisoned. We know from Zinn's flashbacks that the presense of the OG on the planet was poisonous to the local life and I assume that is what led the Ancients to war against them and lock them away. I believe that the Shaman Empress, who was the first of the hybrids, came after the war and her powers/inventions (the mask) are what made it possible for her to reach the OG in their prison and bring Zinn across. I remember reading in one of Prof Tam Tam's lectures that the Arcanics who worshipped the OG ascribed qualities to them that they did not have. And, given that we know that they are really alien beings who were escaping a war on their own world, they are not really "gods" in any true sense.

    I do think that Tuya cares for Maika but her primary loyalty is to the Dusk Court. That is what the title of "Baroness" is all about - a person who is an instrument of the Dusk Court that furthers its interests at the cost of everything else. And, whatever her feelings for Maika, we already know that Tuya tried to kill Maika at least once (in the first story arc) as the Baroness. Her reluctance to see Maika now is probably largely attributable to her entirely reasonable fear that Maika will try to kill her, but it is also probably affected by some sense of guilt that Maika will discover that Tuya was always a "false friend" -though, the reality that Tuya lived a hellish existence with Maika cannot be denied, though it could also be seen as a measure of her dedication to her role as the Baroness.

    I think that discoveing who betrayed her mother and who was behind the attack on the camp are some of the things that Maika is still trying to figure out. There has always been the suggestion that the Cumaea were involved - in the first issue, when Maika tracks down the Cumaean woman who had been part of her mother's group (I think her name is Yvette Lo Lim) this is strongly impled. Yvette had part of the mask, she was Cumaean, and she was eating Arcanics to help sustain her own life. I assume the latter happened to her as a result of whatever happened at Maika's mother's camp (curiously, I can't recall the name of Maika's mother at the moment) and that hints that whatever happened was truly horrific. It's a mystery that has been kind of set aside in the current story, which is caught up in the confusion of the war.

    If there is a weakness in Monstress, it may be this - that the driving force behind Maika's actions has been somewhat confused by events, but that can also be interpreted as a concession to reality. Maika went to the Blood Fox's island because she was following in her mother's footsteps and trying to find out whatever it was that her mother was after. Subsequent events, however, have taken her away from her quest and it's easy to forget that there is that underlying mystery that is motivating her.

  7. #22
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    In a sense, I get the driving force is a teen questioning her own self. especially one that is and was surviving a war. She really doesn't really know what to do. She is just running on instinct. Instinct can be confusing. She is also a teenager who has lost a lot so she is also not thinking. If she can find any information she will follow it. Yea the coffin, it seems at first she wasn't trying to kill her until they had to run away. The thing now the Warlord will most likely meet Maika. I feel there is more to The Wolf Queen not wanting the Warlord to meet Maika. Makes me also wonder why she just didn't take Maika after her mom died.Zinn was all but quite until the mask came back.

  8. #23
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    Yes, I think Maika has basic questions. Once she realized that she was a vessel for some otherworldly power, I think that her desire to find out who killed her mother also became mixed in with her desire to find out who her mother was and why her mother did whatever she did to make Maika the vessel. Her questions are quite understandable.

    If I recall correctly, Maika was trapped in the coffin, but Tuya only tried to actively kill her once the Cumaea attacked and there was the risk they would get Maika. Even so, from the beginning, the Dusk Court has had the plan of killing Maika's mind and keeping her body so they can try to use Zinn.

    I think you are right to ask why the Wolf-Queen did not take Maika after her mother died. Hidng her from the Warlord should still have been possible. Tuya makes a similar point to her when she meets the WQ. However, I suspect the WQ knew what was in Maika and did not want it near her. Zinn became active during the war; it's not clear it had anything to do with the mask and may have been related to Maika's own coming of age. If so, then the WQ did have something real to fear.

  9. #24
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    So, another effort on my part to get an ongoing discussion on Monstress going! I can't believe that AmiMuzono and I are the only people here enthusiastic about this comic, given how great it is!

    Anyway, some SPOILERS ahead, so please take note.

    If you have not read "Talk Stories," the mini-series between story arcs, you really need to do so. Two beautiful stories, one about Kippa and her half sister and mother and their "complex" relationships, the other about Maika and the wondrous early life that she led as a small child, before everything fell apart. As Kippa says to Maika, she led a good life with many people who loved her - you have to wonder if that is what has sustained Maika to this point or if that memory of all she has lost is more of a torture. Maybe both.

    In the latest issue, not much action happens and there is a great deal of talking, but a great deal also happens on the political and character development fronts. We find that Maika has fully embraced her fate as a "monster" -she and Zinn are out attacking and destroying the human scout parties and she is devouring them, thereby feeding Zinn's hunger and keeping herself healthy while terrifying the humans. We also learn that her father can reach into her mind when he wants to (we learned in the last issue that he also has a microphone in her artificial arm and is listening in on her). The Federation fleet leaders who are at Pontus are given a new condition by the Wave Court - they can only remain under the protection of the Wave Empire if they agree not to fight or fight with the Arcanics, but if they try to fight with the Federation, they will be destroyed. The naval leaders were also discussing Tuya's condition for ending the war -that the humans kill all the Cumaeans. It turns out that lots of humans in the Federation, including members of the navy, have Cumaeans as relatives and that this is non-starter. It raises the issue of exterminating an entire religion too, even if that religion has completely undermined the Federation's government.

    In Aurum, the city that was bombed by Maika's father, the Doctor, a few issues ago, the vault holding the fragment of the mask has been revealed. The mask is inside a cubical chest that is surrounded by an impenetrable forcefield that the Cumaea are trying to get through. The two monstrum possessing Gull the Inquisitrix and the Mother Superior are talking. Gull is convinced that some kind of rebellion has happened among the monstrum trapped in exile and that group of beings called "the Defiled" are now in charge - or, at least, she fears this because she was possessed and controlled by a Defiled. The MS rejects this, though it seems she is concerned that one of their fellows, the Dreamer, sees and hears everything and is convinced that the "Fallen" houses are still in control in the prison. Gull says she won't allow the prison to be opened until she is sure that the Fallen are in control, which earns her a rebuke from the MS. And the Lord Doctor is now in Aurum, clearly planning to get his hands on the mask fragment.

    Corvin's sister is gravely wounded - she seems to have lost both her legs -and she is feverish. Maika receives word that the Warlord's air fleet is arriving that evening, and she must make the connection that the Baroness, whom she has never met (as far as she knows) but whom she knows has been trying to capture her, is arriving with it. Maika has managed to avoid meeting the Warlord, but she disapproves of the Warlord's tactics for fighting the war. Even so, she lacks the political power to make any changes. Kippa suggests that maybe she should meet the warlord. Maika makes a decision to stop running and take risks with her life to save her life. Zinn thinks she is crazy, but she has made up her mind. She takes the amulet she gave to Kippa (promising to give it back) and squeezes some of her blood onto it. It starts to glow.

    Maika and Kippa tell Corvin they are leaving the city and going to Pontus. He bids them goodbye and Maika also says goodbye to the Grey Raiders (the Warlord's henchpeople who were supposed to capture her). Tanno, the old cat, sees her leaving and reports this to the Baroness, who is just arriving on the air fleet. Corvin says to Tanno that the Baroness may well be happy to hear that Maika is gone.

    Tuya arrives and greets her wife, the Warlord. The Warlord slices in half the head of the captain of Tuya's ship and relays the order that no captain of her military is ever to obey an order from Tuya again without express permission from the Warlord. Tuya tries to tell the Warlord that the Ancient Arcanics are the ones who sabotaged her attack on the Ilium factory but the Warlord refuses to believe in this conspiracy. She questions Tuya's motivations again and, to convince her (I suppose) of her commitment (to what is not clear) Tuya initiates sex with her wife.

    This then leads to the issue's finale and the real kicker: while Tuya and the Warlord are passionately making love, Tuya (who is on her back and able to see the rest of the room) is shocked to see Maika standing in the doorway, watching them. Maika looks very sad - in fact, her inner monologue throughout the entire issue has been an imagined discussion she is having with Tuya -and she doesn't look surprised at all. Tuya appears horrified, and that is where the issue ends.

    So, how are we to read this? Everyone -Tuya, Corvin, Ren, possibly Maika's father - has assumed that Maika has not realized that the Baroness and Tuya are the same person and that she will be enraged when she finds out. But I think that what this issue reveals, at the end, is that Maika figured it out - possibly a long time ago. And, in fact, others who were in the know have been dropping clues throughout the series. Zinn, a long time ago, when Maika first met Corvin, said to Maika something like this was the second time she was in the presence of a powerful Arcanic and did not even know it. Her father made a number of cryptic comments. I think the idea that she may already have met the Baroness is something that has popped up once or twice. These were usually throwaway lines that happened so far apart it was easy to imagine that Maika had not put it all together. But that underestimates Maika's great intelligence and I think it is clear she did put all the clues together and figured it out a long time ago. So, that really changes the emotional dynamic.

    For me, that raises two questions, both of them unrelated to immediate events. The first is this: in an earlier meeting in her mind with the Shaman Empress, the Empress mentions that the last time she met Maika, Maika was almost insane with grief over the events of a siege. This illustrated that Maika's meetings with the SE were taking place in different times for both of them because the SE realized that the Maika she was talking to then was younger. But the key is this: I had assumed the siege was this one -the siege of Ravenna -and I was hoping the event that drove Maika crazy with grief was her discovery of Tuya's betrayal. That does not seem to be the case. So, what happens that leaves Maika in such a state? It could still be something to do with Tuya. Maika clearly loves Tuya still, and her death would be a profound blow to her. The other possibility is something (to me and most readers) much worse: something happens to Kippa. Maika also loves Kippa dearly -that is a reality that has begun to play a greater role in the story-and Kippa is the only other person whose loss would be a truly terrible blow to Maika, enough to almost break her.

    The other question: does Maika realize that her father is spying on her through her limb? I can't imagine that this possibility has not crossed her mind and I thought it was rather sloppy she had not figured this out. But after what I think is the reveal with Tuya -that Maika did connect the dots - I think that Maika is far too smart to have not realized her father's inside access to her life. So, what is her plan there? She is letting him continue to spy on her - to what end?

    Anyway, another great issue and a real testament to how beautifully Marjorie Liu has plotted her story and developed her characters.
    Last edited by ShaunN; 01-31-2021 at 09:28 PM.

  10. #25
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    Here’s a summary of Monstress #32, with some comments to follow. SPOILERS Ahead!

    The issue begins with Corvin praying for his sister, Bettani, in a temple and also asking forgiveness for his decision to ally himself with Maika, following his heart but possibly bringing shame on his family. When he returns to Bettani’s hospital bed, he finds Kippa giving her a potion made from the Willow-wort Kippa mentioned last issue. She found this outside the city. Corvin, of course, is shocked that Kippa is there but Kippa tells him that Maika and she had returned almost right after they left and Maika had pretended to leave to throw off the Baroness and her spies. Corvin, of course, is horrified.

    Now, we come back to where the last issue left off. Maika is now outside and Tuya comes running after her, calling her name. The Warlord is right behind her, now dressed in her full armor, calling Maika a “degenerate” and promising to cut out her eyes. Maika is totally unfazed, which irritates the Warlord, who then notices Maika’s glowing green necklace. She asks where Maika got the necklace. Maika calls her “auntie” and says she has heard the Warlord has been looking for her. Maika is seized by the guards and, in no time, has her aunt in a rage through her sarcastic insults and annoying smirk. The Warlord is clearly channeling her anger at Maika’s mother and Maika is being Maika. Tuya tries to calm down the Warlord and orders the guards to take Maika to the Warlord’s airship and ready it for departure. No one does anything and the Warlord reminds Tuya she has no power to give orders. The Warlord then promises Maika that she will get the secret of Maika’s “mother’s weapon” that destroyed Constantine, even if she has to torture it out of her. Maika tells the Warlord she should just ask her wife, who was there with Maika in Constantine and knows exactly what destroyed the city. Maika caps it off by saying that Tuya knows all of her secrets.

    The story jumps to the human camp, where Arcanic women and children are being rounded up to be shipped away and turned into Ilium. The remaining “holy warriors” who launched the initial attack on the city are being used to chain up the prisoners and feel humiliated to be reduced to such a lowly task, but Colonel Anuwat regards them as monsters whose existence perverts the purity of the battle lines. Anuwat is informed by her subordinate that their radios are being jammed by the Warlord’s airfleet. Curiously, just before they stopped functioning, the radios picked up an “odd ping” from some kind of very unfamiliar aircraft. The human troops have been demoralized (probably by Maika’s predations on them during the nights) and have been further demoralized by the arrival of the air fleet. Anuwat threatens them with evisceration if they continue to abandon their posts. Just then, Yvette Lo Lim arrives as an emissary from the Cumaea. She has been sent to help Colonel Anuwat, who is predictably short with her.

    The story jumps to Constantine where the brother and sister spies Atena and Rezak are debating Tuya/the Baroness’ demand that the Federation murder all the Cumaea as a condition for peace. Rezak is in favor of this, even though it might mean even Atena would be killed. He sees the Cumaea as an irredeemably corrupt force that can only get worse. Atena opposes the massacre and discusses how many Cumaean are recruited into the order by law and have no choice. Rezak responds that some witches fled rather than participate in atrocities and that there are always choices. Right then, they are interrupted by Ren and his human friend. Ren indicates he has a proposition for Rezak and Atena.

    We are back in Ravenna, where Maika and Tuya are sitting silently in adjacent cells. Tuya finally says that someone, Corvin or “that hateful cat” must have betrayed her identity to Maika. After some silence, Maika tells Tuya that no one told her anything and that, while she was happy to have Tuya be “the smart one” it did not mean that she was stupid. Zinn now manifests, to Tuya’s horror, and begins speaking. He says that he had always assumed that Tuya, who occupied so much space in Maika’s heart and mind, was dead, but he now understands that what Maika was dealing with was the pain of betrayal. Tuya cannot understand what Zinn is saying, but she is terrified. Kippa suddenly appears with a tray of food and water for Maika and tells Tuya that “Mr. Monster” is saying that Tuya is a bad person and they (Maika and Zinn) will eat her. Maika takes Kippa’s food and tells Zinn to go back to sleep, but Zinn tells her that she has to let her enemies know that she is not alone. Kippa tells Maika she needs to remember that she is not alone, too.

    Jump forward to later that night: the Warlord is sitting on her bed, naked, in her quarters. She puts on her armor and her sword, goes to the prison where Maika and Tuya are asleep. She prepares to execute Maika through the bars of the cell. Zinn suddenly manifests, his tentacles seizing her sword, and telling her that she is “so predictable.” The Warlord is shocked, of course, but tries to free herself. The commotion wakes Tuya who shouts at Maika to wake up and “control that thing.” Maika replies “Bitch. You control it”. She rolls over onto her other side in bed. The Warlord promises to destroy Zinn as she fights and, just then, Maika’s necklace begins to glow brighter and give off a green-blue electric haze. “Finally” Maika says. Then, her grandmother, the Wolf Queen, appears in the light, and steps through into the cell, beside Maika. She indicates that she is overjoyed that Maika finally called for her, that she had promised Maika’s mother never to approach Maika unless Maika made the choice to summon her (explaining why she left Maika to languish in prison camps and as a slave). She comments on all the familiar faces (Tuya, Zinn, the Warlord) and finishes by saying to Maika “what a delight to be surrounded by family, is it not, granddaughter?” To which Maika drily replies: “Yes. A delight.”

    Comment: this is a great issue, most notably because so many plot threads and meetings that we have been awaiting for so long finally happen. After the length of almost the entire series – and certainly since issue #6, when we first learned who “the Baroness” was - Maika and Tuya reunite, to the pain of both, and Tuya finds that Maika has known, for some time, who she is and what she has been doing. The Warlord finally meets her niece, finally learns that Tuya knows all about Constantine and the weapon that destroyed it – the situation that has been driving the Warlord for years – and finally gets an inkling of what that weapon may be, though the full understanding of what she is dealing with and what she has been seeking will need to wait for next issue. The Wolf Queen is back in the story, bringing the possibility that Maika and her “family” may finally be ready to work together to fulfill a common purpose- hopefully, saving Ravenna and winning the war.

    Some observations: I’m a bit surprised that Rezak seems OK with sacrificing his sister, but both of them have been raised with the idea that they may need to give their lives for the greater good at any time. Way back in issue #1, Maika sniffed or tasted Atena’s blood; I’d assumed then that she realized that Atena was an Arcanic spy but it seems that Atena really is human, albeit one born with power. So, I wonder what Maika figured out at that time. Of course, it will be interesting to see what Ren proposes.

    The strange air ship that the humans detected, I think, must belong to the Wolf Queen. Evidently, Maika summoned her grandmother when she dropped her blood onto the necklace, but it took some time for her grandmother to actually get to Ravenna. Even then, she waited until late at night to use the necklace to physically manifest in Maika’s cell.

    Finally, as I commented last time, we know that Maika’s artificial limb has a bug in it that the Doctor is using to spy on her. Maika is really smart; has she figured this out? If so, is she giving the Doctor rope with which to hang himself? Is it possible that the bug’s signals are also being jammed by the air fleet’s jamming of the human communications? That is possible, though the Doctor’s tech is incredibly advanced and can probably circumvent that. And when are we going to meet Maika’s (presumably) half-sister, “the Beast”?

    Finally, it’s good to see Zinn and Maika working together as a team. Hopefully, that can last.
    Last edited by ShaunN; 02-25-2021 at 06:35 AM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaunN View Post
    Finally, as I commented last time, we know that Maika’s artificial limb has a bug in it that the Doctor is using to spy on her.
    Could you refer to the page/panel where this is revealed? I reread but missed it.

    Also I do enjoy your recaps and speculation even I usually just lurk in response. Thanks for keeping this thread alive

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klipper View Post
    Could you refer to the page/panel where this is revealed? I reread but missed it.

    Also I do enjoy your recaps and speculation even I usually just lurk in response. Thanks for keeping this thread alive
    HI Klipper! Sorry, I have not checked this thread in quite a while, so I missed your question.

    It's in #30, halfway through the story. It's in the scene where "the Beast" has contacted the Doctor to inform him of her successful attack on Tuya's (the Warlord's) air fleet, driving the fleet away from the Ilium factory. The scene cuts to the Doctor in his lab. While he is talking to his daughter the Beast, there is another transmission coming in that he is listening to as well. It is the voice of someone commenting on the injuries of another person. As we discover on the next page, it is the voice of Colonel Anuwat, who is just about to start questioning Maika after she was captured by the human forces. Maika has not yet revealed herself to Anuwat and Anuwat comments that someone like Maika, who is bearing her wounds without complaint, is not going to break under torture, so she orders Maika to be killed. It is then that Maika makes a comment that causes Anuwat to recognize her.

    As far as I know, this is the only allusion that we have to the fact that the Doctor has Maika bugged. However, given how Maika figured out Tuya's secret, I think she is far, far too smart to trust that the technology her father gave her (against her will) is not allowing him to listen in on her, so she must be giving him some rope.

    With Monstress, you have to pay close attention or you can miss important things. For example, it was only on a much later reading of Monstress #24 that I realized that Yafaela, the little blue bounty hunter girl whose ghost has been haunting Kippa, was murdered by Gul, the inquisitrix, shortly after Maika saved Gul from the Doctor then let her go free. There is just one panel, where Gul is screaming in reaction to Maika putting on the mask. On the ground is Yafaela's body. They were in the same area and, evidently, Gul stumbled on Yafaela while making her escape and murdered/consumed her to replenish her strength. When Yafaela first appeared to Kippa as a ghost, I was puzzled as to when and how she had died; I just completely missed the significance of the panel the first time.

    Thanks for your note. Your encouragement has convinced me to keep the thread going!

  13. #28
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    I also read and appreciate your updates. Thank you ShaunN.
    Give me Brexit or give me death.

  14. #29
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    Here is a summary of Monstress #33 – another great issue. One big moment happens but most of the issue is laying groundwork for more to come.

    SPOILERS AHEAD:

    The issue starts with Colonel Anuwat talking to Yvette Lo Lim. Yvette has brought a weapon that she promises will turn the battle, but it has not yet been assembled and the human forces are being driven back by an air attack from the Arcanics. Anuwat mentions to Yvette that they have met before, at a reception at Sethihar, the military school where Anuwat taught and where she met Maika when Maika was a child. Anuwat says that at the reception, Yvette focused all her attention on Moriko Halfwolf, who was there to pick up Maika. Anuwat says she knows the only reason Yvette came to Ravenna was because Maika is there -she just doesn’t know why Yvette is so obsessed with Maika. Yvette admits that Maika is more than her “mission” – she is her “life.” They then prepare to destroy Arcanic air ships.

    The next scene is a flashback to a time when the Wolf Queen, along with a number of other powerful Ancients, tried to murder Zinn and his child, the child he apparently had with the Shaman Empress. They call the child an “abomination” that must be killed. They are stabbing Zinn relentlessly as he tries to protect the Shaman Empress and the child. In this scene/memory, Zinn is begging the Empress not to leave them – this seems to indicate that she is dying from the attack.

    The scene then switches to the present, where Zinn and the Wolf Queen are together in a room. The WQ is trying to bury the hatchet with Zinn, but he clearly hates her and is not ready to put the past aside. She tries to get him to agree not to drag Maika into their past. Zinn then rants about what “past” she is talking about and drops a number of clues as to the history of the Ancients. The WQ snarls back (literally), showing how much she hates Zinn too, and accuses him and his kind of being murderers and hypocrites. Maika then interrupts the scene. Apparently, she was in another part of the tower in which they are meeting, connected to Zinn by a long strand, giving Zinn and the WQ a chance to meet privately. She interrupts, in part, because she could sense how agitated Zinn was.

    Before the WQ leaves, she asks after Maika’s aunt and asks if Maika has reconciled with the Baroness. Maika says the Baroness is a “stranger” to her. The WQ tells Maika to pack her things because they will be departing soon. Maika then talks to Zinn and tries to get him to not cause his hatred of the WQ complicate his relationship with her. Zinn says he is no fool and he recognizes his own dependency on Maika. If she dies, he will go to sleep again and may even revert to Maika’s father, which he does not want to happen. It looks like Maika is carrying the mask fragments with her.

    The scene flips to Corvin, sitting by his sister’s bed. He is suddenly attacked by Tanno, the old cat. There is a brief, savage fight and Tanno claws Corvin’s face quite badly. The Baroness, Tuya, who is the one who unleashed Tanno on Corvin, stops the fight and asks Corvin why he threw away everything- his life, the honor of his family – to protect Maika. Corvin throws this back in Tuya’s face and says that she kept Maika’s link to Zinn a secret and protected Maika after Constantine. He says the question is why Tuya is not protecting Maika now. Tuya looks very sad and then says that Maika will not live, no matter what they do. The “blood” serves only one mistress and that is not Maika. Oracles, apparently, must have predicted Maika’s death. Corvin then says that he puts his faith in the goddess, not oracles. His sister, apparently waking up for the first time since her injuries, then says to him “you really have changed, brother.”

    We now go back to the tower, where Maika, Zinn and Kippa are in a library. Maika writes a letter and gives it to Kippa. The letter is for Corvin and Maika orders Kippa to stay by Corvin’s side, no matter what happens. Kippa leaves and then the Warlord comes in. Zinn speculates about eating the Warlord, one of the WQ’s children, as a way to hurt the WQ. The Warlord wants to know why Zinn is growling and why Zinn is growing out of Maika’s body. Maika responds by asking her “what happened to the dogs?” The Warlord doesn’t know what she is talking about and Maika tells a story her mother told her. When the Warlord was a child, a Cumaean ship arrived with new-born puppies aboard. The crew threw the pups in the water and the Warlord, in retaliation, set the ship on fire. The Warlord says that the dogs drowned and that Arcanics don’t keep dogs. Maika reminds the Warlord that she is the Warlord and that Maika’s mother is dead, so she does not need to keep repeating lies. The Warlord rejects Maika’s attempts to be “familiar” with her and says that Maika’s mother abandoned her family, breaking any real familial bonds they have. She threatens Maika again, wanting to know what weapon destroyed Constantine. Maika finally tells her the truth: Zinn is an old god, he and Maika share a body, and she and Zinn are the weapon that destroyed Constantine. They did so because they were “hungry.”

    Before the Warlord can react to this, the city comes under fire from the new human weapon. The air fleet is quickly destroyed. Tuya says to Tanno that the weapon being used is the same kind that drove the air fleet away from the Ilium factory. The humans launch gas grenades into the city. When the Arcanics breathe the gas, they are driven into a frenzy. The WQ sees the fleet destroyed and appears unperturbed, but then she sniffs the gas.

    Corvin, the leader of the Grey Riders and Kippa are preparing to evacuate the city. It turns out that Maika had spent the past several days organizing an evacuation of the city through the secret tunnels, just in case the humans attacked with something they could not defend against. The last scene here is the three of them being in the vicinity of an explosion.

    Maika and the Warlord are fighting together against the frenzied population. Maika quickly realizes that someone has weaponized the effect that manifested in Pontus, when the old god broke through the barrier. Zinn cannot eat many of the attackers because he is afraid that what they have ingested may poison him, since it is the “essence” of one of the old gods. Maika realizes that the Ancient Fox had used the remains of the old gods to make drugs that enhanced his powers. She immediately realizes what this may imply for the Wolf Queen. In that moment, the WQ appear on the scene, roaring and screaming “monster” at Zinn. She is clearly enraged and out of her mind. The issue ends with Maika saying to Zinn “looks like you’re getting that fight, after all.”

    I'll put my comments on this issue in the next message. I went too long!
    Last edited by ShaunN; 04-22-2021 at 08:44 AM.

  15. #30
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    Some random thoughts: in the issue, there are a couple of panels where Maika is looking at her mechanical arm in a speculative way. I wonder if that is an indication of what I’ve mentioned several times now – that she is fully aware that her father is spying on her. That may also be one of the reasons she wrote the letter to Corvin, though there are other reasons for that. Also, there is one panel where Kippa is looking at a glowing object with an expression of surprise. I’m not sure what that is.

    Tuya says that the weapon being used against Ravenna is the same kind used against the air fleet when it went to destroy the Ilium factory. But we know that the Cumaea did not defend that factory – in fact, it was the Doctor’s military (led by the Beast) that attacked the air fleet. So, this suggests that the Doctor and the Cumaea are working together, at least to the point of sharing some technology.

    I also think this is the first time we learn that Tuya hid the secret of what Maika was from her own people for some time. It’s not clear when she came clean. Presumably, she hid the secret to protect Maika because she loves her. This ties into Maika’s conversation with Kippa, where Kippa asks why the Baroness is trying to hurt Maika. Maika suggests it is because of something she has done in the past that cannot be forgiven. If so, this is an interesting turn. It’s not clear if Maika is saying that something specific happened or if Tuya is trying to “hurt” her because of the kind of being that she is, but the point about some things not being forgivable suggests a more specific reference.

    Maika’s efforts to connect with her aunt are interesting and make me wonder if, in fact, she and her aunt may end up developing a real familial relationship. It’s kind of disappointing the Warlord did not have any time to react to the big reveal that the weapon of Constantine was her niece, but I’m sure that will come back up. The story about the dogs is interesting and shows the Warlord’s soft side. Obviously, she and Moriko kept and raised the dogs in secret.

    It looks like the Ancients killed the Shaman Empress when they tried to kill Zinn and their child. I don’t think this was revealed before and, of course, it’s also been suggested that Zinn was somehow responsible for killing the SE. We also learned, from Zinn’s comments, that the WQ and her compatriots are aliens themselves, also refugees or “scavengers” from another world, who possessed bodies “not their own” and also enslaved mortals and transported them to the world. So, now we know that a lot -maybe all -of the characters in the story are aliens or descended from aliens. Are the Ancients all possessed beings? That seems to be what Zinn is implying, making the Ancients not that different from beings like the Mother Superior or Gull. When they possessed the bodies they have now, did they make those beings into the immortals they are or were they always immortal and just possessed by these alien scavengers? As an aside: when Kippa looked at Vinh, she saw a being that she identified as extraterrestrial. Vinh looked a lot like the Dracul. It’s been hinted that Vinh is not a typical Ancient. Is it possible she is not one of these “possessed” beings? If the Ancients are possessed beings, it also may alter their reasons for trying to kill the SE’s child with Zinn. After all, the Ancients were already breeding with mortal beings and producing children. This would not have been much different. So what made the SE and Zinn’s child particularly dangerous?

    A comment on the art: Sana Takeda does a remarkable job of drawing the Wolf Queen. She makes an animal look both beautiful (in a feminine way) and then, suddenly, remarkably savage and animalistic. The WQ comes across as constantly amused and above everything else – a typical aristocratic grandmother – yet she is always, overwhelmingly, a wolf in appearance. Just gorgeous.

    That's it for now. Any other speculation is encouraged and welcomed!

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