Man-Eaters 5

Written by: Chelsea Cain
Art by: Kate Niemczyk & Elise McCall
Colors by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by: Joe Caramagna

Man-Eaters has made some different narrative choices in its short run so far. We have had several flashbacks, an entire issue pretending to be a magazine for the men in the Man-Eaters world, and more infographics than most other comics pack in. What this means is that it has been hard to get a handle on the main narrative. The world building, which has been painstakingly plotted, has taken precedence over the main plot.

It is a relief then to see that Man-Eaters #5 has a heavy focus back to the main storyline we started off with in issue #1. This issue shows us both events from 5 months ago at Maude’s high school, as well as the present day events of the ongoing murder investigation. In this issue we get some insight into the rebellion Maude led against all the products marketed for boys only, and the consequences of doing this in a post-werepanther world.

We’re also shown some insight in the relationship between Maude’s parents, but not much. So far there have only been hints at a strained relationship. Maude’s dad works as a homicide cop and her mom as the head of the killer cat division of the police. This leads to some funny tense moments, but there are hints that some event occurred that led the two of them to separate.

This is something Man-Eaters does continuously, a lot of hinting at important plot points, and a lot of emphasis on events, but no real context as to why any of this is important. I like stories that unfold slowly and I quite like stories that keep you guessing. However Man-Eaters seems to have hinted at events so many times, and shifted the narrative to all places except for the one that keeps the readers on board. World building is important, but I don’t really care about a hypothetical world if I haven’t been given a reason to care about the people within it. Where in issue 1 Cain did a great job at hooking you in with Maude’s story, since then the series hasn’t followed through with this.

In my first review of this series I praised the fact that the art direction for this comic uses the medium for more than just the standard panelled narrative. But by issue 5 I could really do with them calming down on wanting to push this medium to its limits. Yes it is fun to create ads and infographics, and tell stories with visuals, but I wouldn’t be angry if for one issue it told the story straight up and didn’t cover the same ground again.

5/10

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