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Rat Queens #5 does a great job of ending the first story arc of the series, in the sassy Rat Queens style that we know and love. With the help of their friends, the Rat Queens fly into battle and their tactics are as down and dirty as ever. I wish I was able to create floating naked lady distractions in the RPG’s I play! This issue also spawned my new favorite word “Fucktarts” which is just a delightful epithet that I will be trying to incorporate into daily conversation.
There are casualties in war, and the threat of this turns Hannah’s eyes black. In case you’re not familiar with fantasy genre tropes, when a mage’s eyes go black it’s never good. They’re usually tapping into evil forces that at a later point in time will try to take over their body. Willow from BTVS is a good example of this. Why think about future ramifications though when you can use this evil power to bludgeon a giant troll to death with it’s own weapon – Rated R Harry Potter style.
After the battle everyone is feeling a need for booze, drugs, and sex – in whatever order comes to them. Dee absolutely stole my heart in this party scene. She sits in a chair reading a book giving herself a pep talk on how to behave at parties. As it turns out, Social Dee might be even more formidable than Warrior Dee – and readers get a nice glimpse into Dee’s history as she retreats from the party.
While the Rat Queens are throwing the after-battle party, there are a few loose ends that remain untied. Bernadette “gets away” and finds herself in more trouble than she would have if the Rat Queens had taken her. This nicely sets up the next story arc, and leaves Wiebe and Upchurch a lot of room with for the upcoming arc.
I am increasingly impressed with Upchurch’s art the more I read Rat Queens. The color scheme he uses for each panel is genius, blending the titular characters colors into each background with ease, while also maintaining their distinctive styles. Every page of Rat Queens is a delight to look at even if it’s mainly just exploding blood. All that to say I would really love to see what Upchuch could do if Violet decided to grow her beard back.
Wiebe’s writing is also brilliant, although at this point I would expect nothing less from the writer of Peter Panzerfaust. His world building is absolutely on point with this issue, as he uses small details, like Violet’s beard-growing, to develop the environment and each individual Rat Queen. You never once feel that Violet Hannah Dee or Betty are caricatures fulfilling their given role in this fantasy universe. Instead, under Wiebe’s care each character becomes three-dimensional, endearing, and believable.
Overall, the series remains an absolute delight while forging on to more serious situations. The sheer amount of sass and heart in this book make it a must read, even if it doesn’t get the acclaim it deserves due to its roots in genre.