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DF Interview: A young girl’s life twists inside out in Marjorie Liu’s Monstress
By Byron Brewer
Astonishing X-Men and Black Widow writer Marjorie Liu returns to comics with artist Sana Takeda (X-23) for an all-new ongoing series from Image Comics. Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. The adventure begins in Monstress #1.
For all the info on this new series, Dynamic Forces went to the scribe herself. Here is what Marjorie Liu told us.
Dynamic Forces: Marjorie, before we get started with Monstress, tell us a little about how you got involved in comics please.
Marjorie Liu: It was an accident, really. I was, and still am, a novelist – and my agent knew an editor who was taking proposals for Marvel-related novels (the publisher had just signed a licensing deal with them). I submitted an X-Men proposal, which was accepted – I wrote the novel, and the folks at Marvel liked the work I did. That gave me the courage to approach them – to say, “Hey, I’d love to write comics” -- and a couple of years later they brought me on to write NYX: No Way Home. The rest is history.
DF: Monstress is certainly a unique book. Tell us a little bit about this world and the storyline.
Marjorie Liu: Thanks. Monstress is set in an alternate 1900’s Asia, a steampunk alternative world filled with magic and monsters (human, and otherwise). The story follows the journey of a young woman named Maika who has survived a cataclysmic war and is trying to put her life back together. Unfortunately, she’s haunted by the possibility that she’s losing her mind – when, in fact, something far more dangerous has happened: she’s gained a psychic connection to a monster.
DF: What are your perceptions of Maika as a character? What makes her someone readers will cheer for, empathize with, cheer on?
Marjorie Liu: She feels so alone. Surviving the war completely traumatized her, made her avoidant of real friendship, any kind of intimacy. Deep down she’s scared of being hurt again, of losing people she loves – but the lesson she needs to learn again, for her own survival, is just that – how to love again, how to build friendships. Her journey is to learn how to be human again, even as she’s struggling not to become a monster.
DF: Can you give us any “non-spoilery” hints about her “monster” at all?
Marjorie Liu: He’s just as confused as she is. He doesn’t belong in our world, not exactly, and he’s been trapped here for a very long time.
DF: Who are the big-bads here, the “otherworldly forces” to whom humans are in opposition?
Marjorie Liu: The big-bads are everywhere. There’s a network of power that begins to turn its collective eye on Maika, and they’re both humans and non-humans – members of the military, religious orders – all hungry for the power growing inside her.
DF: Marjorie, what can we next expect from your talented keyboard?
Marjorie Liu: For now, just Monstress. I’m writing two other projects that should be announced within the next couple of months; one of them is another creator-owned book.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Marjorie Liu for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. Monstress #1 hits stores November 4th!
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