Man-Eaters #11 // Reviews
The revolution arrives, and revelations are...revealed as Chelsea Cain’s delightfully strange Man-Eaters reaches the conclusion of its narrative. Artist Elise McCall wraps-up the narrative of the story in a series of visuals. That cling to Cain’s increasingly erratic and whimsically surrealistic tale. Supplemented by additional visuals by Lia Miternique. It’s the end of the world. It’s time to start over. Everything has changed, but has it? The sharper edge of Cain’s satire is dulled a bit as everything comes crashing into itself at the end of the series. The story is interesting enough, but something is missing in the end even though everything seems to be pretty solidly resolved.
Maude and her parents are aboard an airship that, along with the several others all over the world, is ready to take on the big, evil corporation that is propping-up vicious patriarchy. The head of Estro Corp. is tracked down and interrogated. Revelations become apparent as the revolution draws to a close in a series of somewhat disjointed scenes that are strung together with the cleverly-designed Lia Miternique ads and graphs and diagrams. Maude and her parents find a connection through the chaos of revolution.
Cain’s narrative was going to have a weird ending. That much was clear pretty much from the beginning. The style of storytelling was fresh and irreverent throughout. The complexity of the story she’s been telling here has been a lot of fun to dive into. But it’s really, really difficult to wrap up a feverishly brilliant satire. The mystery of the narrative was all over the place throughout 10 issues. Cain isn’t quite up to the task of bringing it all to a satisfying conclusion without a rather unpleasant amount of jumping around. That compromises some of the cleverness of the narrative she’s built over the course of the series.
McCall does a good job of keeping real emotion in the narrative. In spite of all of the weirdness that Cain is pounding into the issue. There’s a genuine feel of dramatic energy as the head of Estro Corp is grilled. Which is quite an accomplishment given the fact that he’d been essentially designed to look like a comically exaggerated West Coast hipster. McCall also gives Maude a sense of wisdom as the story reaches its conclusion. There’s a kind of assertiveness in the way she carries herself that is present without being exaggerated.
What Cain has done throughout this series HAS been impressive. The scattered complexity of the story is given a retrospective look. Thanks to a Mitternique-designed organizational chart for Estro Corp. at mid-issue that shows-off just how much thematic ground Cain’s covered in 11 issues. The series concludes with one more non-narrative look at the world of Man-Eaters which will close out the title. With the narrative already closed, one more issue from the world of Man-Eaters is likely to feel a bit strange. But it’ll be nice to visit Cain’s world one last time before it gets compressed into a trade paperback.