- Story: Kurtis Wiebe
- Art: Tess Fowler
- Cover: Tess Fowler
- Publisher: Image Comics
It seems she and Human Dave have become something of an item after the Orc raid on Palisade and after a couple rounds of sexy times, Dave is curious about Braga’s backstory. Over the course of the telling we find out that she did not see eye to eye with the rest of her fellow orcs and it ended up costing her a lot, emotionally and physically. And while it’s not out righted stated in words, it’s made abundantly clear that Braga has not always been the Braga we’ve seen busting skulls and shouting war cries. What do I mean? Well, that’s spoiler territory and I’d rather you go spend your hard earned dollars on a copy of this wonderful issue to find out. Awesomeness costs, suckers!
I enjoyed this first go at a side-story comic and I have no doubt we will be seeing more of them down the line. Kurtis Wiebe continues to pen engaging dialogue and showcase the best of his character’s personalities. I have always appreciated his contemporary take on the fantasy world, weaving magic and elves with modern mindsets and speech patterns, and it is no different this time around.
However, I was disappointed in the overall plot of the story because it is by far one of the most overused tropes in the fantasy genre. If you have ever played Dungeons and Dragons with a player who reveres Drizzt Do’Urden you will know exactly what I am talking about. Still, it doesn’t take away from Braga’s cool factor and I enjoyed getting to know more about her, even if a large part of that history makes her a walking cliché.
Though the Rat Queens world kept its writer during this little detour, we had a new artist in the form of Tess Fowler. Taking on the cover and interiors, Tess uses a darker palette for this special than we are used to seeing in a Rat Queens book and truth be told, I was not a fan. Nothing about it really pops and it feels less exciting than a regular issue. I might have been able to ignore it if her art style was eye catching, but instead of being wholly unique or interesting it just comes off like a lower-res version of Roc Upchurch’s work. It sucks that this is the man other artists need to follow, but he created a signature look for the Rat Queens and if another person’s style is neither different enough or better than, they are going to fall up short. In this case, that’s exactly what happened. To be fair, her work does have a ton of detail and she captures emotions and expressions really well, but I found it lacking.
This Braga focused special was an enjoyable book that gave us greater insight into a fan favorite character you can’t help but like. I appreciate what Kurtis is doing with her and the direction he’s gone in, I just wish we got more in terms of the “reveal” and less of the overused rpg backstory. Rat Queens fans better pick this up, fantasy fans better be reading Rat Queens, and anyone else better start. Rats Queens Special: Braga #1 isn’t a place to do it.
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