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Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe

Art: Roc Upchurch

Publisher: Image Comics

Rat Queens, Vol. 1 (tpb), cover, Image Comics, Wiebe/Upchurch


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


  • 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

Rat Queens, Vol. 1 (tpb), page 11, Image Comics, Wiebe/Upchurch


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.


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


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


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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All Image Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Image Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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