RAT QUEENS, VOL. 1
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Roc Upchurch
Publisher: Image Comics
WHAT IS IT?
Take a Medieval fantasy setting, like something out of Lord of the Rings or Dungeons & Dragons. Mix that up with a Bridesmaids-style cast of strong female adventurers behaving badly, going on quests, and navigating complicated social and romantic issues.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? (Minor Spoilers)
Our foul-mouthed adventurer party is (as described by Image Comics and shown in the image below):
Hannah: Rockabilly Elven Mage
Violet: Hipster Dwarven Fighter
Dee: Atheist Human Cleric
Betty: Hippy Smidgen (Halfling) Thief
Braga: Transgender Orc Warrior (joins later)
Through most of the comic, it really feels like you’re watching friends of yours play Dungeons & Dragons (but, like, in a good way, for those of you completely turned off by this statement). Like any party of adventurers, they’re looking to do some work and kill some monsters for cold, hard gold coin.
They spend this first volume defending themselves and other parties of adventurers from being assassinated. Can they figure out who’s trying to kill off all the local adventurers and mercenaries before they become one of them?
Fantastic balance of wit, sarcasm and slapstick humor combines with action and serious moments for a truly well-rounded story
Award-winning LGBTQIA+ representation (and bonus points for showing non-white trans individuals
Love the representation of different races and body types in the characters
Each character has a very developed and unique personality
A fresh take on the Medieval adventure genre
Really does feel like hanging out with friends and playing a tabletop game, like Dungeons & Dragons
This first volume sets up an enjoyable world and interesting future plots
The facial expressions in this book are top-notch, and Upchurch’s character designs were solid
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
I’d probably give this comic an “M” rating for cursing, nudity and violence
The art team changes a lot in all the issues that come out after this volume, which may turn off some readers
Future issues also come out sporadically and retcon some continuity, though this doesn’t affect this first volume
Crude humor may not be for all audiences
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
You should read it because it puts a hilarious, delightful spin on traditional Medieval adventure stories. If you think you might like Discworld even more with strong female characters and LGBTQIA+ representation, or you just want some humorous sword & sorcery in your life, then this is for you.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Grim Leaper, Vol. 1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Aluisio Santos
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro & Robert Wilson IV
Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky
If you like the art:
Rat Queens, Vol. 2 by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Šejić
Debris by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Riley Rossmo
Manifest Destiny, Vol. 1 by Chris Dingess & Matthew Roberts
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Kurtis J. Wiebe – Writer
Award Winner: Won the Outstanding Comic Book Writer Shuster Award for his work on Green Wake
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Roc Upchurch – Art & Colors
Arrested for domestic abuse and stopped working on the title part-way through volume 2
I’m not going to include any more details on him because I don’t want to give more attention to an abuser
Ed Brisson – Letters
Multitalented: He’s more well known for his work as a comic book writer
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Currently writes Cable, Iron Fist & Old Man Logan for Marvel
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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