Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are pumped for battle and kicking butt like never before in this new installment of Rat Queens by Image Comics. After two earlier sellouts, the comic continues to impress. But how well will the Rat Queens handle a brush with death? Find out after the jump.
RAT QUEENS #5
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch
Colorist: Roc Upchurch
Letterer: Ed Brisson
Cover Artist: Roc Upchurch
Editor: Laura Tavishati
Publisher: Image Comics
Previously in Rat Queens: While on her way home, Betty stumbles upon Lady Bernadette plotting to destroy Palisade’s mercenary teams. With some well-timed help from Sawyer, the two make quick work of Lady Bernadette and her assassins, only to learn that Palisade is under attack by a horde of trolls. With the conclusion of the first arc drawing near, the Rat Queens have their work cut out for them.
TRAGEDY STRIKES, BUT NOT IN THE ART
Roc Upchurch does it again with dynamic panels and fantastic fight scenes in this issue. His synergy with writer Kurtis J Weibe is immediately apparent in the first scene, where he perfectly conveys the slimy vibe of Gerrig Lake as he strangles Lady Bernadette. The brilliance of his art only continues as the story continues to unfold with an absolutely brilliant fight between the mercenaries and trolls. The panels flow naturally together, with some of the most dynamic and cinematic art the series has ever achieved. Upchurch and Weibe work in some zinger moments, with Violet taking a nasty hit through the throat and Hannah pulling out all the stops with her arcane powers. With the series oscillating back and forth between intense no-holds-barred violence and sassy trash talking, the Weibe and Upchurch still manage to slip touching, down to earth moments into every issue, and this one is no different. The Rat Queens reunion and their party keep the issue upbeat and fun without detracting from the story, all while dropping important hints about the future plot.
THE PLOT THICKENS
Weibe’s writing really shines here as we get to see some of the loose ends from previous issues begin to weave into the emerging plot. After some shaky writing in issue #3 and #4, he really pulls the story back together with smoother and more natural dialogue. He also drops hints about Violet’s past, which fit neatly with her history from issue #3. Sawyer also returns- on official business as always- and Hannah quickly pulls him back into the party scene after he tells them about Lady Bernadette’s disappearance. Readers also get to see the return of Betty’s love interest Faeyri as the two begin reconciling after Faeyri’s initially rejection of Betty’s apology for Hannah’s behavior. Suddenly the awkward transitions in issue #3 make more sense, as for the first time we get to see Dee’s past clearly. Weibe’s writing really his home as we see Dee reminiscing about the moment she left her mother and home behind. Weibe leads this scene into a killer cliffhanger, ending the story on a dark note after some brilliant foreshadowing. With the implication that Gerrig is a cultist of N’rygoth, the story has taken a dramatic turn. Finally, it seems like the pieces of the puzzle Weibe has been building are falling into place; and the story is only improving as the mystery unravels. His use of suspense is really masterful in this issue, first with Violet’s injury and then with Sawyer’s past suddenly being called into question. Can Sawyer be trusted? Only Weibe and Upchurch know for sure, and readers can’t wait to find out the truth.
It’s no wonder that the first two issues of the series flew off the shelves. Rat Queens is continuing to provide fresh, exciting story month after month and this issue is possibly the best so far. With this arc of the story coming to a close, I can’t wait to see where Weibe and Upchurch take us next. Rat Queens #5 gets a fitting 5 out of 5 stars from me.