Collects Rat Queens issues 1-5.

Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch

This was loads of fun! I’m a long-time pen and paper RPG player and this hit all the spots for me.

The setting is fantasy and the characters are “Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric, and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief”. Yup, an adventuring party with a pretty standard characters. Except that these swearing and booze drinking women are anything but standard in modern comics. They could be usual in a gaming group, though.

So, four adventuring groups are looking for work and in the meantime they get drunk and destroy pubs and other places in their brawls. Perhaps not surprisingly, the mayor and other citizens are concerned about the situation. Every group is given a quest which takes them out of the city of Palisade. The Rat Queens aren’t too happy about their quest which is to clear out goblins from a cave but at least it’s not toilet cleaning which one of the groups gets.

At the cave, our heroes are attacked by an assassin and a giant. Some of the four are hurt badly but they manage to all survive. But soon they find out that the other adventurer groups were also attacked and some of them weren’t as lucky. Also, the quests were just a way to lure them to the assassins. So, who is trying to kill them all and why?

The comic starts in the middle of things and doesn’t bother to explain anything or introduce anyone. However, people who have gamed (or read I guess) fantasy will have expectations. Some will be turned on their ear. The stories have lots of funny moments and dialog. However, they focus on fighting and not so much on character development. But before the end, each main character has gotten her own personality and a few quirks, too.

Highly recommended for people familiar with fantasy and not bothered by lots of swearing.