Publisher: Image Comics (Shadowline)
Writer: Kurtis J Wiebe
Artist: Stjepan Šejić
Released: 8th April 2015
There’s something so deliciously amazing about Rat Queens. From the fundamental concept, right through to the execution of the story – and through behind-the-scenes of a rather unfortunate nature – one’s mind cannot help but boggle at the sheer amount of effort that’s gone into juggling the various quality aspects of the series. There may come a time that they’ll drop maybe one of those balls – but it is not this day, and even if it were, what’s come through thus far will mean it’ll be incredibly easy to forgive them for it.
Wiebe’s writing remains utterly stellar – continuing to crack jokes that’ll hit no matter what your level of familiarity with Dungeons and Dragons tropes may be. From quipping about how tired a cliche it is that wizards get murdered by arrows, to his usually delightfully-but-morbidly amusing set pieces. The story resolves at least one ongoing thread that’s been flapping about like a severed god-tentacle for a few issues now, and neatly sets up a brand new one come the final panels.
It’s all beautifully accentuated by Šejić’s artl. Not least because of the fantastically dynamic action sequence that not only expertly resolves the cliffhanger at the end of the previous issue, but also serves as this one’s backbone. There’s also his mastery of facial expressions – he’s incredibly successful in getting across the book’s cocked eyebrow, wonderfully sardonic sense of humour with impressively subtle changes in the angle of a smile or brow, the twinkle in an eye, a flick of a hand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll reiterate it just so you know we mean business – this book is all the better for Šejić’s presence, and if you’re not at least grinning after each page turn, thanks to the fantabulous synergy between his and Wiebe’s sensibilities, you’ve probably had your soul pinched by N’Rygoth.
So for those of us still in possession of our mortal spirits, this remains firmly on the list of books that I’m regularly willing to shell out hard-earned cash for. If it hasn’t embedded itself on yours at this stage, we’ll not stop harping on about it until it has. Exceptional stuff.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24