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Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery Paperback – April 8, 2014
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The Rat Queens are a tough, insouciant gang of ne’er-do-well girls (they’re certainly not ladies) who love a good bar brawl. When they are assigned a mission as punishment for their latest recklessness by the mayor of Palisade and it turns out to be a trap, Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty come back to the town to figure out who has it in for them and the other local fighting gangs. And if they have to beat up a few people and monsters to do it, then that’s just fine by them. Wiebe and Upchurch offer readers three-dimensional female characters with varying body types, races, sexual orientations, and backstories, while also including all the intriguing side characters, crude language, drug use, magic, violence, and sarcasm that a humorous, adult action-fantasy volume should have. Upchurch’s art has beautiful depth, and his panels glow with life. Offer this to readers tired of the same old comics featuring cheesecake depictions of female characters or to readers who like intelligent plots with a side of smart aleck. --Snow Wildsmith
- If you're looking for an M-rated series that is full of swordplay, sorcery, and sass, and you don't mind a bit of gore thrown in for good measure, you'll love this. Betty, Dee, Hannah, and Violet are mercenaries for hire who can drink a troll under the table, use language that would make an orc blush, and mercilessly eviscerate baddies. Off on a minor "quest" in order to make up for their drunken brawling, this kick-ass quartet soon realizes that someone or something wants them very dead. Making them dead, however, is far easier said than done. It's not just the fantastic pacing of Wiebe's (Peter Panzerfaust, Debris) text or former video game designer Upchurch's blood-sprayed action sequences, but also the characters themselves that drive the story relentlessly forward. Possessed of very different body types, personalities, and idiosyncrasies, and not afraid to share exactly what they're feeling, the Rat Queens are refreshing characters whose story will leave readers thirsty for more. (June) -PublisherWeekly.com
- "Offer this to readers tired of the same old comics featuring cheesecake depictions of female characters or to readers who like intelligent plots with a side of smart aleck." -Booklist
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Top customer reviews
That's the series, now the product. Beautifully understated hardcover deluxe edition includes the first two volumes of the trade paperbacks plus some additional short stories and cover variants not included in the regular editions. The contrast and simplicity of design really make it pop on a dark coffee table or a white toilet tank. Image does a lot of omnibus editions, I've noticed, so if your goal with collected editions is to save money, as mine usually is, you may want to sit on it for a while to see if a larger book is forthcoming. As of this review none had been announced.
I will say that is not a PG book by any means! Go into this knowing that there will be swearing, drinking, drug use, and sex, lots of sex.
So who are the Rat Queens?
We have Betty, the cutest little drug dealin', candy addicted, rogue Smidgen you've ever seen. Because of her size, she plays such a big role in being very sneaky for the other members of the group, but also does some insane damage.
Then we have Hannah, our Elvish sorceress who is rocking a pinup aesthetic that is to die for. She can also tap into some pretty dark magic; that I'm sure will come out more in future installments.
Next, and maybe my favorite, is Dee who is a human necromancer with a healing proficiency. If I had to guess, and if we were actually playing D&D, I'd actually say Dee is a cleric and N'Rygoth used to be her deity.
Finally, our last member of this adventuring guild is a dwarf warrior named Violet. She seems to be running from her past, but slowly becoming the woman she wants to be. She can also grow a beard, and is pretty proud of it. How awesome is that?
Besides the characters being excellent, the content is suburb as well. This graphic-novel is five single issue comics, that are packed full of adventure, humor and action! Yet, one of the biggest shining lights is the sex and body positivity in this. And all of these wonderful concepts are surrounding these amazing female friendships that involve girls who are actually diverse! I mean, talk about a hidden gem! It was such a whimsical but refreshing read. I need to get my greedy little hands on Volume Two as soon as possible!
And the art! Holy moly, the art is so aesthetically pleasing to me. The colors, the lines, the dramatic points, all so perfectly executed. Each new chapter had a new drool-worthy full size picture that I was in utter awe of. I think I need to go buy some of Roc Upchruch's art now.
***I'm now going to break down each chapter in this five volume bind up. There will be SPOILERS, so please use caution in continuing if you have not read this graphic-novel!***
Five groups of mercenaries are sent on five different missions. If a group fails their mission they will be banned from the city, Palisade. The four groups are: Peaches, Four Daves, Brother Ponies, Obsidian Darkness, and, of course, Rat Queens. Once the Rat Queens venture off on their quest, they find an assassin instead of their objective.
This is not only the first installment, but also the first glance at how heavily influenced this comic is by D&D. The "Surprise! -4 penalty to initiative" made me seriously school girl squeal.
Someone has hired assassin to kill the mercenaries. The girls are suspecting Mayor Kane. They find Brage and Tizzie, the last remaining members of Peaches, after they have finished off their own personal ambush. Then, all four members of Four Daves show up, and the group realizes they are the last of the adventuring parties left in Palisade.
Sawyer, Captain of the guard, tells Hannah that the Merchant's Guild gave the Mayor the quests, therefore, the mayor is innocent. We also start to see subtle hints that Sawyer and Hannah totally are diggin' each other. After Hannah gives the girls the news about the Merchant's Guild, Betty and Dee pay them a visit, and we find out about Mr. Lake, his business, and just how sneaky Betty's hands really are. Upon another sneak arrival to Mr. Lake's office, we find out the big bad guy lady is!
A whole army is at Palisade's gates, and they want the Rat Queens! Braga leads the charge, and the girls show how powerful they really are. Then, The Daves come in and help clean up all the intruders.
I don't know who the hell Gary is, but I was literally laughing out loud at his cameos in this chapter.
With the invaders defeated, the girls throw a part in celebrate. All the girls, except Dee, are having a distracting time, but Dee is looking over some of the scrolls that Betty stole from Mr.Lake's office. Dee soon realizes that the God she used to worship with her family, N'Rygoth, soon will play a much bigger role in this story.
This graphic-novel was so immersive and addicting! I would recommend this to fantasy lovers, feminists, anyone who has ever played D&D, or even WoW, or any RPG for that matter! Hell, I just recommend this because it's freakin' brilliant, heartwarming, and all-encompassing! I don't read a ton of graphic-novels, but Rat Queens is, hands down, my favorite.
I’ve been meaning to read this series since the series was optioned for an animated TV series – that was back in summer of 2014. I finally got around to checking the first volume out when I stumbled across it on NetGalley, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long.
I love female centric comics. I love diversity in comics. I enjoy crude humor. I adore complex characters. And I absolutely love well written/illustrated battle scenes. RAT QUEENS has all of that. This first volume was pure fun. I don’t know any other way to describe it other than by saying RAT QUEENS is an absolute joy.
Most recent customer reviews
This is what I want from a fantasy adventure graphic novel.
It's a little vulgar, it's very violent and it's just a blast.Read more