Rat Queens Vol. 1
Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe (Writer) and Roc Upchurch (Art) is a D&D comic with a refreshing cast composed of strong women complimented by incredible art. As with many such fantasy stories, killing is part of the comic and so you’ll come across the occasional gore. Nothing too drastic and never simply for the sake of gore, but nothing for children or the faint of heart. All others I can only encourage to take a closer look at this comic.
The story revolves around a guild of adventurers with our protagonists Betty, Dee, Hannah, and Violet. They come from various races and have classes in the style of D&D games. They are a rather unruly group of adventurers and definitely not the heroes in shining armor. They are prone to start fights while drinking in taverns and it’s no wonder the mayor of the city has them complete tasks as reparation for their misdemeanor. But the happy hike to a cave to slaughter some goblins turns out to be something else entirely. With danger looming in the shadows, how will our heroes stay alive?
The comic plays with a familiar seeming D&D setting and takes it a couple steps farther. What might at first seem like only a silly take on a Dungeon and Dragons story with over the top characters and plot develops into a realistic and quirky new take on a known setting. The great art enlivens the characters and the sassy women will conjure a smile on your face. The creators find a great balance between funny and brutal and I’ve as much laughed while reading the comic as I’ve gripped the pages in tension.
This is not only a comic for those interested in D&D. You certainly don’t need any prior knowledge to enjoy it, though some details can be more accessible with some knowledge in D&D and fantasy in general. It’s a comic for everyone interested in the fantasy genre. The quirky female protagonists are an added bonus. Those at home in D&D and fantasy will find a great afternoon of immersion into their love. All others can find the same if they delve into this world.
It’s an interesting beginning to a hopefully vast story. If the quality of the writing and the art stays this high throughout the next volumes, this comic has the potential to rise high and become a must-read for everyone interested in fantasy. I’ve not in the least regretted my purchase and will await the next volume eagerly. Having read the volume, I can understand why it has garnered so many glowing reviews. Just wanted to add my own voice into the chorus.