ManEaters #10 // Review
Sacrifices are made amidst revelations in the revolution as things heat-up in the tenth issue of Chelsea Cain’s ManEaters. Artist Elise McCall brings the revolution to the page in a story which intensifies the absurdity of the story. The latest issue lacks some of the wit that previous issues in the series have managed, but it’s still an exceedingly fun trip to the patriarchal dystopia right outside the window. The series is beginning to reach for a climax as tensions rise. The hard edge of the satire suffers a bit as the series switches gears to a much more confrontational dynamic than it has in the previous nine issues.
The revolution has come. Maude rallies her fellow inmates at Ruminations Pantherism Recovery Clinic for Girls in Malibu. Certain revelations surface regarding a particular revolutionary wearing a unicorn mask. The signal has been given, and girls all over the place are beginning their revolt against the dystopian establishment. A girl has broken into the Gyno Suite of the clinic to retrieve papers that are of value to the revolution. It’s about to get real. And it’s about to get really surreal as the story reaches further and further in the direction of deliciously absurdist satire.
Cain may have lost some of her more sophisticated satire with this issue, but she’s still damned funny. There are some inspired visuals in this issue. A grown man fights with a super-spy revolution youth for her American Girl Doll. The heroine Maude finally asserts herself in full anarch-activist posture. Direct parallels to contemporary events feel a bit too obvious as the issue opens with photographs of the current president of the US and Christine Blasey Ford may be drawing the connections between our world and the world of ManEaters.
McCall picks up the pace quite well in an issue the sparks the insurrection against authority. Maude looks formidable for the brief moment she’s on the page. A fight between a grown man and a girl in all black wearing sunglasses ends up being a lot more visually appealing than it probably sounds. There are some cute visual jokes in the issue as well. Look closely at the safe containing the confidential papers at the clinic. Other valuables in that safe include a Faberge egg, a vintage Muppets lunchbox and a copy of a copy of Action Comics #1 among other things.
There are only two issues left to go in the series, but with the final chapter being another non-comic-centric “Handbook”-style issue, the central part of the story really ends with issue #11. The rhythm of the series has been great fun. The big climax is just one month away. Hopefully, there’s satisfaction in things becoming more surreal at the end of the series. It’s been a hell of a ride thus far. With any luck, Cain and company can hold out for at least one more issue to deliver a satisfying conclusion to the series.