Rat Queens #14
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Owen Gieni
The Rat Queens are still dealing with the fleshers, as the majority of the gang find themselves in captivity. With only Dee and Betty left to save everyone, things look pretty dire for the Queens (Plus Orc Dave).
Rat Queens has been a series that has struggled with its identity recently. While it has been much more consistent, every arc has differed drastically in direction and the use of its characters. On his blog, writer Kurtis J. Wiebe recently announced that he will be stepping away from Rat Queens and passing the torch Ryan Ferrier. The departure of the series creator has lead to even more uncertainty for the future of the Rat Queens, but at least this arc has been enjoyable so far.
To me, Rat Queens has always been a humor series first, and a decent chunk of Rat Queens #14 is pretty damn funny. Dee and Betty don’t get much time alone together, so this was a great issue for developing the characters through quality banter. Their relationship is similar to siblings of different ages, and Dee’s constant praise of Betty’s nature is fun and endearing. Those who want a good time will enjoy the bulk of this issue.
When Rat Queens #14 isn’t funny, it’s incredibly dark, and will emotionally drain readers through its dire situations. Wiebe does a fantastic job at handling the intense themes appropriately, making a few harrowing moments carry the appropriate weight with them. This is one of the better issues of the second series, but it feels like it ends just a bit too soon. Like the rest of the series, this arc might be more enjoyable when consumed all at once in trade paperback.
Each Rat Queen looks wonderful thanks to Owen Gieni’s art. The emotional and dramatic scenes carry a lot of weight thanks to the solid work in the panels. The expressions of the characters deserve extra praise. I’ve never seen the characters look as hopeless as they do in this issue, and its heartbreaking at times. The action flows across the panels naturally, and feel appropriately big in scale.
Rat Queens #14 is a powerful issue that juggles both comedy and tragedy. It’s one of the more complete issues of Rat Queens in recent memory and is sure to unstabilize the emotions of longtime readers.
Rat Queens #14 is a powerful issue that successfully juggles both comedy and tragedy.