The Rat Queens are a group of four mercenaries from a variety of fantasy races. But that does description is about as bland as dishwater and does not do justice to the larger than life foursome. We have full reviews of both Issue 1 and 2 but at that point the reviews dried up. This is in no means due to a lack of interest instead I wanted to wait until the first arc was done.
It sounds odd but the story was moving in such a way that it could have fallen flat but instead Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch have been able to deliver a well rounded and compelling story. This has a lot to do with the awesome foursome that constitutes the Rat Queens but a lot more to do with the revitalisation of the fantasy genre. Don’t get me wrong I love the classic style of fantasy, The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire are some of my favourite books, but they are not the most accessible titles in the world. For everything Tolkien was he was not an accessible writer, his works are generally deeper than the pacific and after reading them you can understand that. However after first opening the books most find the depth too much and bail out early. The same could be said for George.R.R.Martin’s titles; however with the Rat Queens we get something different altogether.
Gone are the words of yore and instead we modern vocabulary complete with the odd occasion curse. The language though suits each character and does in no way feel forced, as you open the trade you are greeted with a section named Meet the Queens, each is a brief sentence highlighting a trait of the character along with a portrait of Betty, Dee, Hannah and Violet. I wrote an overview in my first piece on the queens which you can read here, but suffice to say they all have a measure of a power in their own right, but put them together and you can expect fireworks.
This is no better shown than when they are taking on a troll at the start of the second issue, their battle is top draw and the fluidity that Upchurch adds to the proceedings make it a battle to savour but it’s the way they fight that is the key to the appeal. From alley oops to healing spells the girls are the epitome of one for all and all for one.
The story itself although coming with a fantasy vein also incorporates elements from a mix of other genres mostly notably crime. The balance always favours the fantasy side but it’s nice to see other things being added to a story. There is of course a white elephant in the room that we have not mentioned or maybe I should say Pink elephant. The Sass in the title really is apt for the foursome; they play hard and party even harder. There are numerous scenes of debauchery within the five issues but when all is said and done the job comes first.
Rat Queens is a stand out title form a publisher in form. This first trade has a great arch filled with action and comedy and is well worth reading in any form. I just hope that the creative team can keep up the pace with future arcs.
Issue Rating 4.5/5
The Comic is available in both print and digital from Image comics. Follow this link for more details.
More from the Queens.
Images courtesy of Image Comics
Comic - Provided by Creator
Comic - Provided by Creator