ADVANCE REVIEW: “Rat Queens #1”


Every once in awhile a book comes along that seems to be penned just for you. As someone who has grown up playing Dungeons and Dragons, celebrating the Baggins’ birthday (last Sunday, happy belated F & B), and has had a blast the past decade watching Tolkienian influence creep into pop-culture thanks to the likes of Peter Jackson, Blizzard Entertainment and HBO; Rat Queens is that book. When a creator and world builder as capable as Kurtis Wiebe (Peter Panzerfaust, Debris) describes his new project as “Lovable Death Dealing Battle Maidens.” you can’t help but be all In!

What happens when peace and prosperity rule the land; but you’re an adventure thirsty crew whose pirate-mouthed sisters in arms are equal parts bored and drunk? You get this book; it’s Bridesmaids meets my last D&D session. Rat Queens embraces classic fantasy archetypes while simultaneously twisting them on their head, as evidenced by the elf who hates hiking in the woods or the existence of an atheist cleric. You’ll find this kind of humor laced throughout the book in every aspect of dialogue, character, action and art. Our heroins are snarky yet lovable. Dialogue is sharp, witty and at times laugh out loud funny. Fight scenes flow like a well oiled raiding party would and the visual action is fast paced with an almost anime flair (trust me, it’s a compliment).  The overall art from John “Roc” Upchurch strikes a perfect balance between fantasy art nostalgia and MMO-esque avatar design. This book is a complete joy from cover to cover, and is probably the most fun you’ll have reading a fantasy comic in some time; not to mention it showcases some kick-ass female leads, each with the beginnings of a well rounded backstory.

Rat Queens is funny, irreverent and bloody. It goes in heavy on wit, and doubly so on charm; the perfect sword and sorcery book for the WoW generation. Do yourself a favor and add these maidens to your weekly pull list; or if you’re within driving distance of Annapolis, MD come out to Third Eye Comics (Saturday, September 28, 11am-1pm) where Weibe & Upchurch will  be signing in person for the books launch party!

Thom Obarski is an editor with a writing problem. Also, a podcaster, nerdy comic gamer guy & opinionated consumer with a penchant for geeky fitness involved in a dark and twisted love/hate relationship with pop-culture and run-on sentences. Check him out weekly on Geek Girls, Nerd Boys on Fanboys Inc. When not inside hiding from the sun, you can find him running from zombies, slinging arrows with Hawkeye, sparing with the Cavalier, or target shooting with Deadshot.