Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rat Queens Deluxe Edition Volume 1 (Kurtis J. Wiebe)

Rat Queens Deluxe Edition Volume 1
The Rat Queens Series
Kurtis J. Wiebe, illustrations by Tess Fowler and Roc Upchurch
Image Comics
Fiction, Fantasy/Graphic Novel/Horror/Humor
****+ (Good/Great)

DESCRIPTION: The city of Palisade is a beautiful, prosperous, respectable place... or it would be, if not for the brawling, boozing adventurers tearing up the streets between quests. Most notorious among them are the Rat Queens. Hannah the elven mage channels demonic powers while hiding her own mixed ancestry. Dee is an atheist cleric, raised to worship an eldrich entity whose existence she doubts. Dwarven warrior Violet may have turned her back on her people's traditions, but never turns her back on a challenge (or a date.) Diminutive smidgen Betty possesses keen eyes, sticky fingers, and frequently-dilated pupils from sampling illicit substances and unidentified mushrooms.
When the Queens and other troublemaking adventurer groups are set up on their latest quests, sent straight into the jaws of deadly assassins, they come back to Palisade looking for revenge - and find themselves in over their heads as they discover a plot that could destroy the city and the entire world.
This deluxe edition features the first two volumes of the Rat Queens series, plus numerous extras and bonus content, including a quick guide to the Palisade dating scene, a glimpse at the backstory of peripheral orc character Braga, cover art, and more.

REVIEW: The rating may take a bit of explaining on this one. One one level, I have to admit that Rat Queens isn't quite my cup of cocoa, chock full of graphic gore and frequent cursing, not to mention a near-overload of sex and drugs (and orcs and trolls, if I may indulge in a pun.) This is not a comic adventure for the whole family. That said, it's still a very interesting, well-crafted story and world, with characters who delve beyond shallow gender, race, and class stereotypes. The whole is both a hilarious send-up of fantasy/role-playing tropes and a compelling tale of wounded hearts, lost souls, and vengeance gone awry. I'm not sure if I'll venture further into the series or not - this two-volume tale wraps up a decent arc as it is - but I enjoyed it more than I expected to, and I really liked the diverse cast.

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Goblin Quest (Jim C. Hines) - My Review
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