Marguerite Bennett has been gaining attention for prominent female characters in books like A-Force, Angela, and DC Bombshells, but Insexts is a chance for her to tell an original story blending feminism and sexual diversity with gory horror in Victorian London, and it’s a fantastic trip.
Lady Bertram is a beautiful young woman trapped in a loveless and barren marriage to a cruel, unfaithful viscount. She falls in love with her stunning maid, Mariah, and during an intense sexual experience, Mariah impregnates her with something vaguely insectoid. This gives Lady Bertram the confidence she needs to claim a better place in her own home and send a brutal message to her husband, and as the issue closes, the lovers are gradually changing into woman-dragonfly hybrids.
This book was great. The sex scenes were graphic but very much necessary to the plot, providing the abandon and pleasure that make Lady Bertram’s scenes with her husband and neighbors so oppressive and sad. The gruesome body horror pops out of the stuffy English background (Ariela Kristantina’s art is gorgeous even with slimy eggs and bloody walls), but the story also juxtaposes the beauty throughout, with a repeated theme that “from rot the beauties of the world can only ever spring.”
Insexts is an original work that will stay with the reader, both for hot sex scenes and messy deaths. Come on down to Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Chapel Hill to find out more!
-Matt Conner for Ultimate Comics