God of Comics – Rat Queens #7

God of Comics – Rat Queens #7

Rat Queens #7 (Image Comics)

This comic consistently interests me.

Yes, there’s a smog of weirdness behind the scenes that isn’t nearly what people think it is, was dealt with, and can be ignored. The people making this comic are exactly who they say they are, and the proof of that is in the story they’ve chosen to tell.

Rat Queens started as a group of foul-mouthed adventurers in a fantasy world who happened to all be female. They meet in taverns around the town of Palisade, going on quests and causing as much trouble as they solve. What set it apart was the fully female protagonist group and the depth of their characters: you had your beardless dwarven fighter, your half-elf half-tiefling necromancer with a chip on her shoulder, your drug addicted halfling rogue, and your human atheist cleric who doesn’t really believe in the demon god she draws power from (that old chestnut).

The original series did a good job of exploring everyone’s backstories while doing some incredible worldbuilding and even giving us a transgender orc who would join the party late in the initial run, which had the cleric’s demon god show up and mess with everyone’s minds. Some people have dealt with that better than others, which might be a comment on the fandom itself, but this issue gives us a sense of healing and closure.

See, there’s a thing going on right now, a cultural crest that speaks of finding third-way solutions to problems – not violence or compliance, but third paths that lead to the greatest common good. We saw it in Moana, we saw it in Thor: Ragnarok, we saw it in the Last Jedi, and we are very much seeing it here.

We have three big events in this comic: one about overcoming PTSD and helping those that are suffering from it, what love looks like and how it can heal. Suffering from PTSD doesn’t make the sufferer weak – we’re social creatures and we need to be able to rely on one another. There’s some heartwarming stuff going on there, which juxtaposes nicely with the next big event.

A new bar has opened up in Palisade, run by two humans that look like one of my cousins until they reveal their final form (which also looks like my cousin). They’ve done something awful and you think there’s going to be a big climactic battle that will result in the world being a worse place (and a new delicious restaurant closing~!) even if our heroes win. Instead, we get a unique answer to what’s happened that makes everyone as happy as they can be.

It’s a good trick, too, because the final pages of this book will break your heart.

Kurtis Wiebe does an excellent job of putting his story together and making his character compelling and his world feels like a lived-in space. Owen Gieni masterfully builds off the framework he’s been given, adding small details and turns of expression that belong to individual characters, setting them apart from one another. It’s excellent stuff, guaranteed to give you feels ranging from tears to laughter.

Highly recommended, and the first two trades are also very much worth picking up.

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