Publisher: Image Comics (Shadowline)
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Release Date: 4th March 2015
ALL HAIL THE FUCKING RAT QUEENS!
*ahem* Sorry. Got carried away there. And I suppose it’s going to be tough to review this issue of THE FUCKING RAT QUEENS! Not least because whenever I type ‘Rat Queens’, I apparently have the urge to add ‘THE FUCKING’ as a prefix (still issue #4’s fault), but also thanks to a certain degree of incident in the form of some mildly unexpected behaviour from artist Roc Upchurch. We’ve had a couple of holding pattern monthlies whilst that whole thing settled down, but now, we’re back to the main meat of the story, replete with a new artist at the helm.
There was some doubt about whether the series would continue at the high standard we’d come to expect, particularly given Wiebe’s statement regarding the matter which, whilst undoubtedly moving, also raised the question of whether or not the series could bounce back from the one-two punch of a deeply upset writer and a lost artist.
You’ll (hopefully?) be happy to learn that it’s still precisely as good as its ever been.
In fact… dare I say it? With of course the greatest respect given to the situation that saw Upchurch stepping down, and Sejic stepping up – it’s better. Upchurch’s style had a certain appealing, cartoony charm that no doubt went a long way to securing its popularity, but Sejic brings a darker, painterly vibe to the proceedings that meshes incredibly well with both the setting, and the heartbeat of Wiebe’s storytelling. If you were afraid that the beautifully synergetic relationship between writer and artist displayed in the preceding issues might have taken a hit, be a dear, and throw said fears out the window. And blast them with a magic missile. Done? Good.
Because the series continues to be essential. Still gloriously sweary, action-packed, deeply un-cynically feminist, and ending on an absolute doozy of a cliffhanger, there’s no sign at all that the change in creative team has stalled the book’s momentum in any way. If you’ve not already, get your arse on THE FUCKING RAT QUEENS! (sorry) immediately. Or we’ll set the smidgen on you.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24