What do a group of adventuring women do when they find themselves the target of an assassin only to have said assassin be killed by a troll that is now set its sights on them? If you answered, “Kick its ass!”, then you are not only right but my new best friend!
After a little in-fighting between Hannah and Violet that brings out some mildly racist comments towards dwarves (seriously, Hannah, that’s not cool), the queens form a plan, two plans actually, and attack the troll head on. When Hannah’s “White Screamer” solo move goes awry, resulting in a gruesome broken arm, the others forge ahead with the awesomely named “Betty Climber”, creating a ladder up the troll’s body for Betty to show just how deadly a Smidgen can be, especially if that Smidgen is carrying daggers. I’d also like to point out that it’s the two shortest members of the party (Violet and Betty) that do the most damage to the troll. Just sayin’, sometimes it’s not always the tall, muscly ones that get the job done, or the tall, magically inclined members of the party with short tempers and a case of Maverick-itis.
With the troll slain and the girls recovered, they quickly put the pieces together, after running into the remaining members of The Peaches, that all of the adventuring parties of Palisade were attacked by assassins. The most likely culprit? Mayor Kane. Determined to get to the bottom of this quest now turned mystery, Hannah proposes raising some drunken hell, but her plans are quickly squelched by Sawyer who sends the girls home to sober up. If your next thought is that sobering up doesn’t stop one specific member of the group, then, once again, we’re best friends!
A fun and action-packed issue practically jumping off the page thanks to Roc Upchurch’s art, Rat Queens proves that female characters don’t have to be given preferential treatment or teamed up with male characters in order to make them interesting or palatable for readers. You can have a whole bunch of women fighting a troll and it’s just as brutal and exciting as the same fight with the genders swapped. Kurtis J. Wiebe has crafted four very distinct women who play off each other just as much as they play against each other. Violet and Hannah’s fight in the beginning shows that friends and companions don’t always have to get along, but that doesn’t stop them from working together or making up. And while we’re here, let’s talk about Hannah because, for the time being, she’s the most fascinating member of the Rat Queens…other than Betty, I suppose. Her acerbic personality and misanthropic nature make her a foil within her own group and towards others as seen in how she treats Tizzie from The Peaches even after she’s lost two members of her group. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all kinds of fun watching Tizzie and Hannah trash talk and try to strangle each other, but Hannah seems to like going for the low blow. I guess drinking together solves mostly everything, so let bygones be bygones! How Hannah gets out of her latest impulsive stunt, however, will have to wait until the next issue.
Final Thoughts: Is this a movie yet? Seriously, when do I get my Rat Queens movie?