Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
Written by Kurtis Wiebe
Art by Roc Upchurch
Review by Stephanie Cooke

For the last little while, the comic book industry has been festooned with people crying out for more female lead books. While companies are starting to deliver us great series’ with excellent creative teams, to me it feels a bit like they’re doing to appease the masses and not just for the sake of having more variety in the world. A lot of the titles are fantastic but it’ll just be a great day when a book with a female lead isn’t front-page news.

Rat Queens could easily have come across as a series that’s trying to capitalize on a market largely ignored by the big two, but it’s so incredibly far from that. Rat Queens is a well-written and beautifully drawn book about a badass elf, goblin, dwarf and a druid that make up a team of drunk, dysfunctional mercenaries. The characters have a distinct personalities and a unique looks to them, each coming in different sizes and shapes. It isn’t a book about kick-ass female mercenaries but instead it’s a book about kick-ass mercenaries that happen to be female.

In an interview we had a while back with Kelly Sue DeConnick, a friend and listener asked the question “How do you write a female character properly?” and Kelly Sue responded with “Just write her like she’s a human being.” Kurtis nails this and writes these characters like he’s known exactly what the female readership has been looking for all this time. He seems to channel everything they need in a book and manages to put it all together in something that is wonderfully fun, vulgar and full of exactly what the volume one title says, “Sass and Sorcery”.

The same thing goes for Roc’s art. Just because the leads in this book are women, doesn’t mean that he shies away from going all out with the violence, blood and gore. We see limbs being broken, eyes being stabbed and more, but it’s not all gratuitous and needless since it all fits into what’s happening and furthers along the story. These are women who put themselves out there in a dangerous profession because they like getting their hands dirty and Roc’s art doesn’t cover any of that up.

Kurtis and Roc have created one of my new favourite books currently out there on shelves. Rat Queens is Lord of the Rings meets D&D meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer with its own unique twists and turns. It’s witty, fun, smart, raunchy, rough around the edges and will seriously rock your world.

VERDICT
This is MUST BUY for everyone that’s into fantasy and adventure stories. Even if that isn’t typically your bag, I definitely recommend trying out at least one issue. The first one sets the pace and the tone that remains consistent throughout this first volume, but honestly, for a measly $10 for Volume 1, you really can’t go wrong with just picking up this whole trade and checking out.

I can’t give Rat Queens enough praise. Go support this book and these amazing creators and remember:

Bitches love quests, y’all!

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About The Author

Associate Editor, Community Manager and Podcast Co-Host
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Stephanie is [obviously] a comic book fan, but she also considers herself an avid gamer, movie watcher, lover of music, board games fan (although she doesn’t find nearly enough time for them…) and being snarky. Oh, and Twitter. Twitter’s a hobby, right? Stephanie is a purveyor of too many projects and outside of Talking Comics she’s done work for JoBlo.com, Agents of Geek, Word of the Nerd, C&G Magazine, Dork Shelf, Misfortune Cookie (her personal blog for words and pictures) and more. She also runs Toronto Geek Trivia in her home city and can be found helping out at other “geek” community things around there.

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