A bit of a departure from writer Kurtis Wiebe’s somewhat more serious work, Rat Queens is a fantasy-comedy by he and co-creator/artist Roc Upchurch. The titular Rat Queens are an all-female group of adventurers that keep the town of Palisade safe from all kinds of monsters, goblins, bandits, and assorted beasties. But, the raging parties and barroom brawls started by the Rat Queens have done more damage than all the monsters ever did. After a simple quest goes wrong, the Rat Queens are in a spot of trouble and scrambling to figure out who’s behind it.
The battle outside of Palisade gets dire as one of the Rat Queens is seriously injured before another finally defeats the leader of the invading army. Using all their healing powers, the injured Rat Queen is revived and there’s only one thing they can do to celebrate: throw a raging house party. In the midst of it all, Bernadette has her debts called in and the mystery in Palisade deepens.
Wiebe and Upchurch are able to delicately balance serious character moments and outrageous fun and debauchery in this issue like it’s nothing. This issue keeps the fantastic tone of the story going, all while making it one of the most enjoyable series on the stands. Upchurch makes the world of Rat Queens all the richer with his art. The action is a joy to read, as are the smaller moments, like the little asides between the characters. Each and every main character has their moments in this issue, a small scene where they grow, and everything feels natural and relevant.
Rat Queens continues to be one of the most fun books, Image or otherwise, on the stands each month. This issue really starts to dig into the past of the characters, their life outlooks, and their general personas. Plus, you get some sweet, bloody action. If you’re not reading Rat Queens, you’re not living life properly.
Parental Concern: 17+