Rat Queens #13 picks up where readers last left off, with the Queens in the Under Pit, battling (and losing) against an orc camp of Fleshers who make Sauron’s own personal army look pretty wimpish. This is while Dee is currently discussing philosophy with Bilford Bogin, the deity of the smidgens. So, a pretty normal day for the Queens, all in all.
One of the best things about the series its ability to talk about certain existential aspects of life. Of note, Dee’s conversation with Bilford about whether one can go on in their purpose of life (in this case, a god who doesn’t believe that anyone believes in him anymore) and whether your purpose ever really disappears. It’s a similar scenario that we all go through in life, but we’re able to resonate a little more with it because of the characters. It’s similar to how C.S. Lewis had us care about Aslan’s death in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. We were able to connect more with the death and resurrection of a character that was otherworldly in a work of fiction, rather than with a human, because of the way we empathize. We tend to care more for the characters that aren’t human than the ones that are. The same can be said of the way we understand certain ideas and beliefs; we can’t really get a grasp on it unless we see it in a more hyperbolic way – in this case, a god who has lost his purpose. The Rat Queens series excels at this, as we are able to see certain existential dilemmas by showcasing them alongside the ridiculous (being pummeled to a bloody pulp by orcs) and the fantastical (D&D-style world). It’s truly a statement of the series that it’s able to produce a thought-provoking dilemma in a way that everyone can understand.
The story is engaging and wonderful, but there are times where it feels like the series relies on deus ex machinas, and not just for the climax of each issue, but for some simple revelations. One such example would be how, in the previous issue, Maddie showed up and saved the Queens from a creature. While Maddie is a great character (I’m a sucker for bards.), her inclusion felt a little too random. The same goes for Dee’s storyline and how her helping Bilford is helping her best friends from the Flesher’s. Although it doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of the series (Who can resist a foul-mouthed, D&D adventure group who somehow always get into the biggest trouble?), it does take away from the immersion a bit.
With all that being said, if you are a fan of foul-mouthed, raunchy adventurers, Rat Queens #13 won’t make you any less of a fan, and if you aren’t a fan, what are you waiting for? It’s a solid issue that provides plenty of entertainment and intrigue to the series. In fact, it leaves you wondering what the hell is going to happen now that Dee is essentially a god and Hannah has her arm blown off.
Creative Team: Kurtis J. Wiebe (author), Owen Gieni (artist), Ryan Ferrier (letterer)
Publisher: Image Comics
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