- Series: Rat Queens
- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (August 14, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1534306773
- ISBN-13: 978-1534306776
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rat Queens Volume 5: The Colossal Magic Nothing Paperback – August 14, 2018
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The first issue focuses on Orc Dave. It is interesting and good worldbuilding, but it is also repetitive and tangential. Why include a flashback at what will be the beginning of a bound volume if it is only relevant to the rest of the volume in the tiniest way? Why not save it until you are actually going to tie it to the main storyline?
But, to be honest, I would rather have read more about Orc Dave than the rest of the issues in this volume.
The next issues sees the Rat Queens fighting a giant hypnotoad and…haven’t we seen this before? The greatest weakness of the comic is that it isn’t super interested in doing new things. The hypnotoad sequence ends with Betty the smidgen thief licking it. I know that Betty’s impulsivity (and drug use) are basic character traits, but to make such a stupid decision so important to the rest of the comic grates.
The rest of the volume gets into the titular The Colossal Magic Nothing. I won’t get into it, because there is no way to explain it that makes sense and isn’t spoilery. With the big reveal at the end, I see what Wiebe was doing, but it winds up being a disjointed mess. I like the idea, but the execution leaves much to be desired.
The artwork is good, with some cool visuals, but I wasn’t a big fan of the intentionally simplistic style adopted for some of the flashbacks and surreal sequences.
We start with the Orc Dave single issue. It is funny, dry and deadpan, and features an appealing and solid Orc Dave. He and his father kvetch and needle each other as they walk the Green Wilds, and it's not until the end of the issue that you realize something important is afoot. The drawing and coloring remind me of the original Rat Queens, although they still don't have the style, character and presence on the page that I miss from the early days. Still, though, a nice, amusing, and rather touching start.
The rest of the volume is set up as a single arc broken up into separate tales for each of the Queens. Someone, a weird mystery wizard, is evaporating people, and as he interacts in a different way with each Queen we get a different story. All of that is sort of up and down. Sometimes it's just old-school adventure and sass. Then we're back to angst and intense monologuing. There's some time travel and what may be alt and parallel universes, but your guess is as good as anyone's what exactly is happening. There is a lot of finger pointing about who left whom behind, but impassioned speeches about love and friendship don't substitute for clear plotting.
So, for some of the self-contained set pieces, (the mushroom guy, Hannah starting her banishment, and so on), it was all a hoot. Some of the other arcs, though, left me in the dust. It didn't help that the artwork is all over the place, with some flashbacks done in uninspired cartoon or quasi-manga styles, and some high drama scenes done all dark and inky.
So, I'm still in, but maybe not totally. I still hope the original Rat Queens find their way home.(Please note that I had a chance to read a free ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)