Rat Queens #2 (Image)

RQ2

Rating: 3.5/5 – Hard-Charging Fantasy Femmes

Sometimes a comic just sort of rattles around in your mind for awhile.  I had read the first issue and it intrigued me so I made a note to revisit upon issue 2.  Well here we are at issue 2 and it is time to decide.  Kurtis Weibe and Roc Upchurch bring you this fantasy adventure series following the Rat Queens, the gang of four adventurers pictured on the cover above.  I would think some sort of familiarity with the sword and sorcery genre would help as we have two different types of magic users, a dwarf warrior and a biggen which is a type of pixie/sprite sort of creature.  The book just rumbles on without explaining the various classes/races but sprinkles hints throughout the dialogue.  The art style is well represented by the cover above.  I find the style pleasing to my eye.  The action scenes are well paced and clearly delineate the action.  The storytelling is in good hands.  That may seem like a basic component but sadly it is missing from some books.  The Rat Queens are four hard-partying, hard-drinking adventurers and this issue finds them amidst a dangerous ambush.  It turns out that all the local mercenary groups were sent on missions that turned out to be traps.  You will get an action packed issue with number 2 as the Rat Queens dispatch their attackers and assist another group of mercenaries.

The sensibility and tone is what most perplexes me but not in a negative fashion.  The frequent cursing is a combination of terms that would work in our world as well as specific fantasy terms.  They are squarely within the fantasy realm but the tone seems to be giving me trouble.  I actually appreciate that they are not spoon feeding the fantasy parameters to the reader.  While I don’t know the specifics of this world, I know the basics and I like learning on the fly.  From the first two books, there has been nothing extraordinary on the fantasy take, it is mainly the lure of the four main characters.  This book succeeds and fails on the appeal of the main characters although the art will keep me around for a bit.  To date the world and the plot work but are nothing particularly novel.  One excellent resource to give you a free taste is the webcomic prequel.  I really like the free prequel concept, especially because it uses the same creative team.  Take a look at:
http://www.shadowlineonline.com/webcomics/rat-queens-webcomic-prequels/rat-queens-webcomic-prequels

A similar series could be Skullkickers but I seem to instantly immerse myself in that world easier.  The art alone is enough to hook me for at least another few issues.  I wonder if it is Weibe’s sensibilities as Peter Panzerfaust #1 (Image) just didn’t grab me.  That was a quality book which maintains a premium on the back issue market but not for me despite the subject matter seeming to be up my alley.  Hopefully we will get some fun twists and turns to spice up this ride.  I have been seeking out other opinions on this book so please leave a comment or send me a tweet.

Reviewed by: Andrew Sanford – andrew@comicspectrum.com
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