Nutshell: Put NC-17 Golden Girls sass, D&D campaigning, and every single drug you can possibly think of, into a blender. Voila — Rat Queens! That’s high praise from me. Loved Volume 1, and Volume 2 is just as high(-octane). Strong female characters in word and deed, with a whole lot of hilarious dialogue and massive butt-kicking? I wanna write like Kurtis J. Weibe when I grow up. If I ever do. Grade: A+
Story: The wild women of Palisade are back! Looks like all the Rat Queens are gettin’ some…except for poor Dee [NOTE: must be a name thing.] Hannah and Sawyer are…re-connecting. He’s still looking for Bernadette (see Vol. 1), and he finds her. Someone looking for Dee finds her, too. And all literal hell breaks loose when a man gunnin’ for payback comes calling…
“Fuck me it stinks of happiness in here. Happiness and flapjacks.”
“Let’s move onto the part everyone gives a shit about…people beating the hell out of each other!”
“Note to self; never try 69-ing a smidgen again! You slip a disk…”
Goodies: Unused covers, wrap-arounds, character studies and sample pages. I absolutely adore Stjepan Šejić’s “one hand each” wrap-around cover from #8. I also adore that they took the time to break down who did what in the cover gallery.
Let’s be honest; I actually worried about Volume 2. I adored the first volume so much, I didn’t think the series could continue on such a high note. I’ve never been more glad to see my worry were misplaced. The Far Reaching Tentacles Of N’Rygoth kicks ass, takes names, and digs deeper into the back stories of our girls. It’s a helluva ride, and I can’t wait for more.
Things get NSFW right at the get-go, and it’s a glorious thing y’all. Roc is still on for a bit of the art; but it’s Stjepan Šejić in the driver’s seat by #9, and it’s still the beauteous gorgeousness that we’ve come to lust after in this series. Okay, it took me a hiccup or two to get used to the slight shift in style, but Šejić does beautiful work; those flashback scenes are gorgeous, and the gore ain’t shabby either.
Oh there’s LOTS of the ol’ ultraviolence. And some full-frontal too. This series ain’t gonna water it down, y’all. Plus those flashbacks to the times before Palisade give readers a peek at how the Dee, Hannah, Betty and Violet became who they are. And there are a few WHOA surprises in store….
Plus? Braga sighting! Yaaaay! She’s freakin’ amazing, and a total badass. Fine; everyone here is a total badass. And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who’s noticed; this past March Rat Queens received the GLAAD award for Outstanding Comic Book. I love that for many reasons; first, it gets this great series out to folks who wouldn’t know it otherwise, it’s a freakin’ award, and it pays tribute to Weibe’s wonderful way of writing characters that just happen to be gay/bi/trans. Which of course makes no difference at all when they’re kicking serious tuchas; these characters aren’t the sum total of their sexual orientation, in fact you can often completely forget about that. Y’know, til things get to sexytimes, and then it’s “oh yeah, that’s her girlfriend…score!”
What I love most about Rat Queens is that though they may be complete fuck-ups that get drunk and/or stoned whenever it’s available, when it’s time to throw down they’re dangerous. They’re not 100% anything; they’re their own mix of crazy and cool. And that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
Publication 411: Collects Rat Queens #6-10. Scheduled to hit shelves May 19, 2015.
Subscribe or Shelve: If you’re not reading this series yet, shame on you. You’re missing out. Go. Now.