Title: Rat Queens Vol II: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artists: Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic
Letterer: Ed Brisson
Cover Artists: Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic
Rat Queens comes off like how comics should be today: young, chic, brash, liberating, sexy, hilarious, and great storytelling. Upon picking up a copy of Rat Queens, the reader might expect nothing but T&A. Yet each issue the reader is drawn into characters that are more complicated than they may seem on the surface. The Rat Queens are not your average mercenary group. They surely aren’t heroes in the complete sense. They aren’t anti heroes either.
The story for Volume II begins where Volume I ended off. Everyone was hung over after the big bash following the huge battle that saved the town of Palisade. This is probably the most enjoyable parts of Rat Queens. The interaction between the members of the group during their down time. It’s comical. In the first volume, we meet all the members and are only given a glimpse of their background. In Volume II, we get to know more of the characters.
In this volume, secrets from the past of Dee and Hannah comes back to haunt the team and lead the eventual destruction of Palisade. We are also given the back story of our favorite dwarf, Violet. I found it amazing that at one time, she wore a full beard. It’s details like this that make Rat Queens cutting edge. We learn that Dee was married at one time. Hannah and Sawyer’s relationship becomes even more complicated despite the fact that both have vowed never to mix business with pleasure again.
There are times when flashbacks take away from the story’s pacing. Going back to a character’s past can take up too much time. While it can make for good storytelling, it could muddle up plot lines and take away from the overall story. Kurtis Wiebe has no problem telling the background of a particular character while keeping the reader in the present. He weaves back and forth with ease. This is crucial when introducing brand new characters to an audience. Wiebe has mastered this style of writing. The banter between the characters is witty and will keep the reader in stitches.
Roc Upchurch’s pencils are amazing. Image seems to have a roster full of up and coming artists. Usually when a comic switches artists, the art seems to lower in quality. This doesn’t happen when Stjepan Sejic helms the breakdowns. You can still tell who is who but both artist’s interpretations are unique. It was a great transition and quite honestly, I can’t choose who I would like to stay on board. I hope both Upchurch and Sejic continue to do the artwork for Rat Queens.
Rat Queens does set the standard for modern comic book writing. It’s praises are well deserve. Some might argue that it’s great for girls who are into comic books. I find it good for comic fans of all stripes. There is sword, sorcery, sex, humor, and wit. I can’t say enough things about this series. This series continues to tradition at Image for putting out cutting edge comics.