Rat Queens is the story of a group of a women adventurers, Hannah, Dee, Violet, and Betty, who really like gold, and ale (or wine), and fighting, and sex, and they are unapologetic about all of it. I talked back in Issue #1 about each of the Queens exhibiting their distinctive personalities from the get go. Issue #2 doesn't expand upon their characterizations but shows all the different ways the Queens work together. Who serves what purpose in the party (and I'm talking about more than their D&D standard class here) and to each other. My favorite of which is Hannah and Vi's sororal-like bickering relationship, as both thinks the other one is in the right, when it involves something they both want to do anyway.
As mentioned at the start, Rat Queens is a very funny book that's well aware of its genre. D&D adventuring party and fantasy jokes are all over the place but are easy to get into. Everyone with any experience in fantasy knows that dwarves reportedly like their ale, for instance. Rat Queens is also raunchy. Half of the quotes I'd like to use would get censored in a heartbeat, but that's another good thing about Rat Queens. If you like humor involving $#@%s, #$^@s, and $&#%ing, then it's right up your alley.
This issue packs a lot more action and, consequently, gore than Issue #1. I thought Wiebe and Upchurch didn't pull punches last time, but ye gods does Issue #2 show some things that go further than blood. While some of these moments make me want to turn away, I'm glad that Rat Queens is going in this direction. In most mediums you would never see this kind of damage shown on women, and it adds a level of danger to a world where a healing spell is just around the corner. Hell, even a “catfight” isn't the stereotype. Two women fighting means two women trying to beat the $%&^ out of one another. Roc Upchurch's art continues to be stellar, and I love the Queens' different tactics and strategies. The characters each move in a different way, exhibiting their different fighting styles.
Oh, and Wiebe provides a drink recipe in the back, because nothing says adventurers like booze.
I love this comic.
Five Principled Wine-Drinking Dwarves out of Five