Written by: Chelsea Cain
Art by: Kate Niemczyk
Colors by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering by: Joe Caramagna
To recap issues 1 and 2 of the new Image series Man-Eaters; Maude and her parents live in a world where teenage girls turn into ferocious panthers when they get their period. To prevent girls from turning into big cats, the government has added estrogen to the water supply to suppress menstruation and therefore the cat transformations. Maude’s dad is a homicide detective, Maude’s mom is on the Big Cat investigation squad. Maude has just got her period…
This comic heavily utilizes in-world text to build the world and set the scene. The first few pages of issue 3 are mainly narrated through the health class text book. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of this series, I am a big fan of using the visual side of comics in more creative ways than just showing action. However Chelsea Cain and the creative team take this to new extremes. By issue 3 the story has barely progressed, and issue 4 moves away from the comics format entirely as a mock magazine aimed at boys.
The world that is being built is funny, and the satirical take on a patriarchal society is interesting, but we know hardly anything about the characters within this world to care too deeply about this world. The retro 50s style adverts for the fictional ‘estro pop’ that close out every issue of Man-Eaters are a fun extra bit of flair for the comics, but to make them centre stage for the fourth issue seems a bit of overkill.
The main storyline has not progressed much at all in these 4 comics. Between the first issue and the third issue, Maude’s parents haven’t done anything more than a preliminary sweep of a couple of crime scenes, and Maude herself has only been hiding away from her elderly babysitter. The end of each comic appears to have a cliffhanger or reveal something that suggests it will be covered in the next issue. But so far the comic has failed to follow up on these. We discover in issue 1 that Maude’s started her period, but the following issues have barely touched on what the consequences of this are. And so too issue 3 ends with what’s supposed to be a reveal, but what all of the pamphlets and the ‘cliffhanger’ of the first issue have always implied would happen.
I’m not saying the third and fourth issue of Man-Eaters aren’t worth reading, they are definitely fun, and the fourth issue is a nice stopover for the holiday season whilst you wait for all your comics to continue in 2019. But if you’re dying to find out what happens with Maude and her family, you’ll have to wait a little longer!
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