Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.
Warning: Minor spoilers.
“Put on some clothes before I whip out my fuck wand again” – Hannah
I’ll be honest, this isn’t what I planned to review today, but I was meaning to read this for a little while, so I figured I’d read the first chapter or two. Next thing I knew I was putting down the volume, the whole thing read. Rat Queens is something I picked up recently and its fast become a favourite of mine. I appreciate volume 2 is an odd place to start, but what I say in this review will very much apply to volume 1 as well. This was bought to use by:
- Writer – Kurtis J. Wiebe
- Artists – Stjepan Sejic
- Letterer – Ed Brisson
Well then, Rat Queens, how to sum up what it’s about in one sentence: Imagine a graphic novel written about characters in a Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder Tabletop Roleplay Game (RP). It uses many of the same tropes, focusing on a party of fantasy characters and classes with as broad a range as you’d expect in any D&D adventure. Unlike your usual story, and much more like the way a RP game plays out, much as the characters are very competent at what they do, there is certainly a lot of chaos is their wake. From a night of binge drinking to accidentally bringing an orc army down onto a town.
The characters are incredible, packed with personality and subversion of usual tropes – from the dwarf who keeps her beard shaved to the grumpy necromancer. The main characters in the story are the adventuring party the Rat Queens, who work, compete and play hard with and against other parties (such as the Four Daves) to protect the town of Palisade. Each of them immediately feels like an RP character, with colourful backstories and much smaller quirks like having literally no cooking ability. What adds to the cast is how unashamed the story is about showing who they are, every vice, every urge, every flaw which makes them feel as much more rounded characters than you’d expect in most comic books. This is not a comic for kids however, if you like bloody combat, awesome monsters, sex and drugs this is a comic for you.
As for the art throughout is of a very high standard, the variation in the cast of characters is huge, Sejic bringing them to life with well defined line work and vibrant colours throughout.
As always, the question is though, can Sejic draw hands? Seeing as I’m looking at an entire volume here, there are plenty drawn throughout the issue. Which means both plenty of opportunities for hands to look good, but plenty for them to look bad as well. Sejic certainly achieves the former, throughout conversations, combats or sex scene and plenty of other weird and wonderful circumstances. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!
This comic is a hell of a lot of fun. I have volume 3 which I expect may get both started and finished tomorrow evening. If you’re a fan of roleplaying games this is certainly for you, even if you’re not and simply want to enjoy a no-punches-pulled fantasy adventure with well developed characters this is also for you.
Also, volume 2 has awesome Lovecraftian Elder Gods wrecking everything. Who doesn’t love some of that?
Score: 9 Redbirds of Wrath out of 10