“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!”
I really wasn’t interested in reading Rat Queens when I first heard about it, but I decided to give it a shot anyway and I’m glad that I did. As the official description above states, Rat Queens is a dark fantasy series starring a group of four deadly women living in the land of Palisades.
The description says that Rat Queens is like, “Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack”. I never watched Buffy, I don’t know who Tank Girl is, and I don’t really see the LOTR comparison. However, what Rat Queens does remind me of is Dragon Age and it’s one of my favorite game series of all time. Besides the fact that they are both fantasy themed, I’m not sure how else to compare the two. The best way I can describe it is to say that Rat Queens just feels like it’s based on the Dragon Age world. That’s a good thing, though!
Anyway, in Palisades, there are a number or competing gangs, and these four women comprise the Rat Queens gang. Apparently the gangs used to protect the land, but now they mostly just cause trouble (like bar fights). This particular issue starts with the Palisades Government getting fed up and assigning the gangs to go on different quests, some better than others. But, is there more than meets the eye with these seemingly routine quests?
Now meet the girls:
First, there’s Hannah the “Rockabilly Elven Mage”. Hannah is the unofficial leader of the Rat Queens. She’s a no-nonsense type of girl, very intense, and competitive. The Rat Queens definitely need a woman like her in charge to keep their team together. I do get the feeling that she needs to grow up a little bit, though. Maybe that’s not it, but there’s something holding her back. Why all the bar fights? Is she just bored? Her gang definitely has skills and it seems like they’re wasting their potential. I guess we’ll probably see that start to change as the series gets started.
Second, Violet the “Hipster Dwarven Fighter”. Violet is kind of awkward, but I like her. She is a fierce warrior and not exactly what you’d expect a dwarf to look like. It seems as if she doesn’t like partying as much as the others, but I could be wrong. If that is the case, though, I like her even more.
Third, Dee the “Atheist Human Cleric”. Dee didn’t have too much to say in this first issue. She used to be a part of a crazy killer cult and now she’s an atheist. I want to say that she’s my least favorite of the four women, but I don’t know enough about her to say that for sure. She’s very mysterious so far.
Finally, Betty the “Hippie Hobbit Thief”. Betty isn’t your average Hobbit, at least not the kind that I’m used to. She’s definitely a free spirit. She looks really cute, so when she says the things that she does, it took me aback a bit. It’s not in a bad way, though. Betty is the comic relief and she’s very charming.
The story of Rat Queens couldn’t have started off any better. They already have me sold on the characters and the plot is very promising. I can’t wait to see where this series goes!
I love the characters and the plot of Rat Queens #1. What’s more, I think they have a perfect artistic style to capture the fantasy feel of the series. It’s just a great series all around and I bet it only gets better from here! All fantasy comic book fans need to check Rat Queens out!
Rhodes Rating: 93/100
Buy your copy here: Rat Queens #1
Rat Queens #2 releases on October 23rd!
All of my Rat Queens Reviews: http://stephenwrhodes.com/tag/rat-queens/