Writer/Creator: Chelsea Cain
Pencils and Inks: Kate Niemczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover: Lia Miternique
A review by Christoph Staffl
Did you ever wonder what a comic about cats and kitties would look like? Well, wonder no more, because Man-Eaters has arrived! But be aware, this might not be the kitty-comic you wanted, but it is the kitty-comic you need. Just read this short excerpt from the synopsis, and you know what I mean:
“A mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats—easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one twelve-year-old girl. Part Cat People, part The Handmaid’s Tale, MAN-EATERS will have everyone talking.”
You will know which kind of story you have committed to by the time you read the first page. Our young, female protagonist is very imaginative, creative, open-minded, cool and outright perfect to guide us through the story. She explains the strange and bizarre world, she lives in. Of course, her perception is that of a young girl and therefore somewhat innocent. While she tells us about her own experience and what she learned in school, the artist shows us what is really going on. So there is some juxtaposition between what we are told, and what we see.
This composition of the story also shows that her father, though working as a cop he is protecting his daughter from the truth as long as he can. She does not have to experience the dark and gritty reality as long as she is safe. But sooner or later, she will have to find out for herself how the world really works.
Speaking of the world: with this kind of world-building, no wishes remain unfulfilled. The bonus content completes the illusion that there might really be dangerous were-cats (?) out there like story wants us to believe. Starting with the cover (you cannot deny similarities to the Power Fist symbolism) and the first interior pages. But it also continued through the story, told to us by a protagonist breaking the fourth wall (kind of), and finally arriving at some forms and ads that exist in this fictional world.
Finally, I want to mention the artwork, which I adore. Kate Niemczyk’s pencils and inks, combined with Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors work perfectly together. Every scene has a dense lighting. Add the body language of all the characters involved in the story and you get a great first issue.
Verdict: Read it! Man-Eaters #1 is a great start for this new series. The cliffhanger at the end works well for the story, which raises enough interesting questions to keep me wanting more. Plus: we get to see a simple but effective way to show simultaneity on a double-page spread.