Wayward Sisters: An Anthology of Monstrous Women edited by Allison O’Toole

"Wayward Sisters: An Anthology of Monstrous Women" Forward by Faith Erin Hicks.

Caption: Ya'll read for monster ladies?

“Wayward Sisters” is an incredible anthology that contains a wide variety of monster women stories (almost typed wife variety and that’s true too). 

Quote: "Sadly for me, Marvel writers didn't have much use for Marrow, and eventually, she was depowered and prettified. I have chosen to ignore that part of the story.  Nothing in comics is permanent."

Caption: Ain't that the biggest Marvel mood.

I knew I was going to love this anthology from the moment I opened it, because in the forward, before I even got the comics because there was a wonderful drag of Marvel for being shitty to your unloved favorites. If that was the set up vibe for the book, I could only be in for a treat and I was right. 

The book opens on a rather dark story,  “Love and Fury” by Aimee Lim and Sam Beck. Three demon sisters who punish the wicked, sometimes by request, sometimes because it needs to be done and how sometimes it’s hard to punish the wicked when it’s family. 

Something I really loved about the stories in the anthology was just how much the female characters were allowed to be morally ambiguous and vicious and make mistakes, and not be shamed for it. You side with the little witch in Mandy James’ “The Purrrfect Solution” when she turns the townsfolk into cats, because even though her ‘help’ wasn’t the most helpful, this is her story and she gets her happy ending. Another example would be “White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant” by BC Holmes, Dee Williams and Meaghan Carter,  which is about a, you guessed it, WASP couple, who lure men into being surrogates for their offspring.

There is very much a theme throughout the book of, do what is best for you, regardless of what others think. And that’s something a lot of people need to hear, a lot of women need to hear. This is wonderfully illustrated in the story “The Wife’s Shadow” by Janice Liu, where a young wife has been struggling to sleep because of noises in the night and she eventually finds her escape from her married life by becoming a bat creature. 

There are many other wonderful stories and I wish I had time to talk about them all, but also just briefly mention a few of my absolute favorites. 

“Leon’s Return” by Zoe Maeve is about a lion from a medieval manuscript returning home a very different creature than they left and in return their home is very different as well. It’s a very fun and silly story, but also manages to tell an incredibly moving story about change. Also goofy looking medieval manuscript animals is like iconic. 

Two page spread of "Leon's Return"

Caption: Medieval animal shenanigans!!!

“Ugly Cinderwench and the Very Angry Ghost” by Xavière Daumarie is another one with a pretty funny bent, but this one ends with justice for a wronged ghost when a shaman attempt to summon a demon to get rid of the ghost, and summons the wrong kind of demon. Her mood isn’t helped by the fact that she was summoned in the middle of her bath.

Lastly, I want to mention “Date Night” by Alison Bannister, Ronnie Ritchie, Meaghan Carter and Nikki Powers. It’s about a human man who takes a T-Rex lady out on a date, except he doesn’t really pay much attention to her and then ghosts her when she steps out for a second to save the town from a rampaging robot. The cute lady T-Rex does get a happy end when the waitress asks her out.

In conclusion, go buy this book now and also don’t ditch your amazing superhero T-Rex girlfriend.

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