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Rat Queens Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth (Rat Queens Tp) Paperback – May 19, 2015
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Volume two gives readers the chance to learn more about their favorite rag-tag bunch of lady-venturers who kick tush and take names. Do they have what it takes?
Of course they do. Hannah shows off something very surprising under her hair, while Violet deals with the backlash from shaving her beard. Dee’s relationship with a cult religion is brought to light and Betty just wants to get along…
Volume two of Image’s Rat Queens shows a little more about our favorite female league of awesome. And while the subject matter might be a little mature, it is an awesome storyline.
First of all, the artwork was incredibly inconsistent, which is my main irk with comics. And it's not that the switch was bad, necessarily, I just felt that the second half really lacked the oomph that the beginning of the comic had. Turns out, Roc Upchurch stopped illustrating the series after issue 8 and then Stjepan Šejić took over. I definitely prefer the look and tone that Roc's artwork had. Stjepan's work just seems too soft to me and the characters definitely lost their intensity.
Second, the storyline didn't seem very organized. While I did appreciate the flashbacks to help us get to know the characters a bit more, the transitions were just so jarring. I needed just a little something more to keep the storyline together...
Third, all of the humor and the excitement I had for volume one was totally gone in this second volume. There was only one time that I chuckled. I found myself bored through most of this collection.
And fourth, I really didn't care about the storyline. It seemed like it all happened so quickly. Then when it was over, I had to stop and think- wait, what actually happened in this one?
Needless to say, I would not recommend this volume. I will be reading volume three simply because I already checked it out from the library.
I was a little worried with the change in artists that I might not dig the style but Stjepan Sejic slipped in flawlessly. The story of trouble in Palisade continues and it's just as sexy and funny and bloody as ever. Flashbacks to Violet and Hannah's pasts are wonderful glimpses into what makes them tick while a revelation about Dee's is sure to surprise.
What continues to wow me about Rat Queens is that it's so wonderfully inclusive and feminist without ever seeming like it's pressing an agenda. I adore the cover of issue 10 so freaking much, way to turn a classic fantasy art trope on its head. The only bummer about this volume was that I'd hoped the Braga one-shot might get included and it was not.
If you're new to Rat Queens you've got to read Volume 1 first or you'll be pretty lost in the story. This is a fantastic comic that I recommend Rat Queens time and time again to women who want to read them but aren't sure what's a great place to start. Trust me, this is the one.
This second volume is very entertaining, but suffers by comparison. Like all middle books in trilogies, here we have to fill in all of those backstories and build a bridge to the ending. We're familiar with the characters and don't get the benefit of the thrill of discovering this new gang. Sometimes the result is just workmanlike instead of energized.
Dee, the reformed squid cult member, is the center of the main storyline, and since I've always felt she was the weakest of the four Rat Queen characters that may account for this mild case of the blahs. Betty is way off on the sidelines. Violet's story is sort of odd and predictable. Luckily, Hannah, the conjurer, takes over the story about half way through and she injects the energy, conflict and attitude that picks up the book and drives it home.
This volume, importantly, is still wildly beyond anything else I've read recently, and is worth your time and attention. (Although you probably have to have read the first Volume to really enjoy this one.)
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
BUT STILL READ IT: please .. This is simply my review and this comic deserves praise despite what I wrote.