Rat Queens #14 picks up right where the previous issue left off. Dee is now seemingly a cleric imbued with the power of the halfling deity, Betty is both confused and excited that her friend is there to save them, and everyone else is kind of trapped in a cage. This issue sets us up for the next one, with one important thing to note: Braga has a more intimate reason for seeing this adventure through.
Friendship is an overarching theme of the series and one that it does well. It never lets up on letting the reader know that friendship can and will transcend all, but it doesn’t ever feel like it’s getting too after-school special about it. It presents friendship in real and complicated ways; no matter what happens in the series, its message about the family you choose will be talked about long after the series has ended (and, hopefully, that won’t happen for a long time).
Unfortunately, it’s this fantastic portrayal of friendship that can weigh the story down. This issue doesn’t move along in the pace I think Wiebe wants it to. To call it a filler issue would do the story a disservice, as it works as part of the larger story. It’s here where the series’ biggest fault comes into play: the pacing of the story. There is no doubt that the story of the Rat Queens and their amazing friends is unique, but when read in a single-issue format, the story begins to feel as though it’s choppy and brazen. This isn’t always the case, however, but this issue really does highlight the fact that, sometimes, this series is meant to be binged like a Netflix show over the traditional one week, one-episode format.
Another issue here is the dialogue between characters. No doubt, their sarcastic and sassy one-liners are hilarious and memorable, but when trying to portray a serious conversation, it feels a little forced.
No matter what the story may struggle with, though, it’s always nice to see the Queens kicking ass when they can. One highlight of the story is when Dee and Betty go charging in and provides mystical crystal weapons to everyone. It’s awesome, and I’m definitely remembering that for my next D&D session.
Rat Queens #14 still provides everything we love about the series: sassiness, foul-mouthed adventurers, and plenty of action. Fans of the series who have been following along will definitely enjoy the next installment of the beloved franchise, but for newcomers or casual readers, it’s perhaps best to wait for this storyline to complete.
Creative Team: Kurtis J. Wiebe (author), Owen Gieni (artist), Ryan Ferrier (letterer), Melanie Hackett (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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