RAT QUEENS VOLUME TWO: THE FAR REACHING TENTACLES OF N’RYGOTH
The Queens of comics continue their mystical quests in their home town of Palisade. Hannah, Violet, Betty and Dee battle a storm of mushroom monsters, rogue mercenaries and a great nasty sky god in this latest volume. Picking straight up from the last volume, they wake up from the previous night’s crazy celebrations, having saved Palisade only to find out they must save it again. It gets personal for the Rat Queens, as Dee gets a surprising visit, as does Palisade, in the form of the powerful sky god N'Rygoth. It is summoned, however, by a vengeful traitor using the stolen power of Dee's people. In order to defeat the big beastie, they must join forces with their rival mercenaries. Emotions run high from issues #6 - #10 as the Rat Queens must deal with this tentacled creature physically and mentally as it sends their minds to the past.
It's a brilliant character-building arc as we get an insight into some of our heroines’ childhoods. Writer Kurtis J. Wiebe manages to create different and believable cultures within this fantasy realm and brings out a variety of emotions in his characters; even the secondary characters have depth and purpose. Wiebe has created a lavish world and the plot is enthralling. The Rat Queens are audacious women who are, like everyone, not perfect; it's not a typical fantasy or heroic tale. Wiebe breaks fantasy conventions in many ways; one is with brash dialogue that's funny yet relatable, making each of them loveable characters we can get behind. You can see the passion behind these characters and the world Wiebe has created.
Due to extremely unfortunate circumstances there has been a change of artists, with Stjepan Sejic having taken over art duties from issue #9. Sejic's art is somewhat softer round the edges and it's not as clean and straight. Although the art is very different, Sejic manages to capture the personalities and emotions just the same. It's vibrant and energetic, and like Upchurch he can illustrate extensive fight sequences and emotions that feel lively and animated. It's no wonder it's inspired an animated TV series (squeals of excitement!), and you can really see the action come to life.
Iconic female characters are breaking out big time in comics right now but none are as original or diverse as the Rat Queens. The story is a multitude of unfolding quests as the leading ladies just figure things out as they come. It's a comedy fantasy which doesn't have to follow all the rules - it's alluring and majestic.
INFO: RAT QUEENS VOLUME TWO: THE FAR REACHING TENTACLES OF N’RYGOTH / WRITER: KURTIS J. WIEBE / ARTIST: ROC UPCHURCH, STJEPAN SEJIC / PUBLISHER: IMAGE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW