“GOLD, GUTS AND GROG,” Part One
Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all gods’ creatures for profit.
It’s also a darkly comedic fantasy series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Hobbit Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!
A new ongoing series from PETER PANZERFAUST’s KURTIS J. WIEBE and featuring a gorgeous incentive cover by SAGA’s FIONA STAPLES!
Does someone want to kill the Rat Queens? The girls are seeing red and there’s only one thing to do about it; get really, really drunk. And, eventually, maybe get to the bottom of who’s trying to kill them. Because let’s be honest, they already know why.
Story– In Palisade they face the greatest threat to their livelihood ever. A town meeting is called to discuss this threat which turns out to be The Rat Queens, Peaches, Four Daves, Brother Ponies and Obsidian Darkness. Each is a quartet of young mercenaries. They are jailed by the town sheriff Sawyer, he releases them to clean up many of the town problems for pardons for various crimes. They agree but the Obsidian Darkness quartet is killed by a shadowy assassin. Said assassin tracks down the Rat queens and attacks them. They gain the upper hand only to have the assassin killed by a giant green Ogre.
Humor– I could not tell when last a comic had me laughing this much for a really long time. This book is wickedly hilarious. It’s witty, sharp and downright
Action- I must commend John Upchurch for provided a very fluid and exciting fight scene. It was well choreographed and expertly executed! The viciousness of the assault really drove home that it was a life and death situation despite the book being about a quartet of women. I found that quite liberating as women are either treated with kid gloves sent to a corner or are way too sexualized. Rat Queens kicks all those cliches in the nuts then guts them like a trout!
Art– This is beautiful stuff through and through. John Upchurch is on my radar in a major way. Each of our protagonists has a distinctive look, so much so in fact that even in black and white you can tell them apart. The art also managed to subtly convey quite a few things; like Hannah and Sawyer having a history, the drunken lechery of Betty the solemn seriousness of Violet.
Cover-I love this cover! We have Hannah our resident elf is in the foreground directly behind her is Violet then Betty with Dee in the background. Everything else is a stark white with the Rat Queens logo propped up on top. It’s quite eye catching and visually pleasing to boot!
Characterization– This opening issue gives us a pretty good feel of most of the casts’ personalities except Dee of course which is disappointing since she’s the reason I picked up the book. Nonetheless, we have Hannah our Elvin magic user, Betty who I presume is a smidgen while Violet is our Dwarven knight and Dee is the mysterious one.
Black Hero– Introducing Dee! A brand new Black Superhero created by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Meg Dejmal, and John Upchurch.
Pg– This is not the best comic to read with your children or do I recommend that you buy for anyone who is not a teenager. Coarse language and crude humor make this inappropriate for the young.
Inconsistent- While the visuals, for the most part, are quite good, there are instances throughout where the detail is off and those instances hurt the overall package significantly.
Rat Queens is a well-crafted fantasy series from Image comics, it has beautiful characterization, art, and action with tons of potential! Cheers to Kurtis J. Wiebe, Meg Dejmal and John Upchurch and Image comics, Rat Queens is a total win! We give this opening issue-3/5 stars