‘Rat Queens: Volume 5’ - Trade Paperback Review

One of the great things about Rat Queens is its world building. I don’ know if you’ve noticed, but world building can be some of the most excruciatingly bland things to read, with too many adjective and metaphors trying to compare certain aspects of the world to ours.

Rat Queens has an advantage over that: It’s a comic book. We don’t have to worry about the diction the author decides to provide. We’re free to enjoy the moments right then and there. (That’s not to discourage people from reading, but rather to highlight a trait of comic books.)

This volume of Rat Queens sees our little band of foul-mouthed adventurers (a very well-rounded party,I might add) having escaped from Castiwyr and returning home to Palisades to enjoy the spoils of their adventure, and yet something new has crept in. Someone is there to take away everyone’s suffering, and who suffers more than a group of millennial-like girls who drink and fight their problems away?

If you’ve been keeping up with Rat Queens, then you know that the characters feel real. They feel like people you know. The core five girls are raunchy, young, and looking for their own place in the world. They’re millennials, and better yet, they’re millennials living in the D&D world that we always wanted to be in.

Swashbuckling drunken adventures aside, Kurtis J. Wiebe and Owen Gieni prove themselves to be a powerhouse of fantastic storytellers. Each page is filled with humor and depth through characters that you know care for one another. This, coupled with the visuals of the world all around them, creates moments that make you feel you’re right there, watching alongside the Dwarf and Smidgen and the other Queens.  This volume’s story is a little bit confusing, though; about halfway through, I was sure I missed a page or 20. It isn’t until you get to the last chapter/issue that you realize everything has been subtly connected, and although I’m a fan of subtlety, this time it was a little too much.  Luckily, that doesn’t take away too much from the story, but it can be distracting when you’re trying to piece everything together.

Nevertheless, Rat Queens proves to be a strong and amazing series rife with humor and heartwarmingly affectionate scenes that easily transition to moments of unadulterated violence. It’s a series that deserves its place on your shelf.

Creative Team: Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer), Owen Gieni (artist/colorist), Ryan Ferrier (Letters), Laura Tavishati (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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