New members, new adventures, and many old problems continue to haunt the Rat Queens. Take the jump for our review of Rat Queens #17 from Image Comics.
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Marco Lasko, Priscilla Petraites
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Rat Queens: The Rat Queens have fended themselves against assassins, cultists, and other monstrosities. The Rat Queens however are not in the best of states as a team. With Violet in retirement and a new member named Maddie, these young lasses are struggling to even find a proper quest. However, this all changes when our infamous heroes are met with a new villain, King Gary. The Rat Queens will have to get out of their funk, find their sobriety, and regain their comradery to defeat the man that they once partied with.
A NEW VILLAIN AND ROCK BOTTOM
Rat Queens #17 opens with King Gary having the Rat Queens in his custody and quickly throws them into prison. Dealing with a definite failure as a team, the Rat Queens deal with some of their personal issues. Braga has feelings of inadequacy for getting thrown into prison, Betty is in a state of withdrawal from alcohol, and Hannah is having trouble controlling her magic with only one hand. Braga says an off-handed comment about feeling useless which angers Maddie as Maddie believes she isn’t being treated as an equal. While Hannah begins to cast a spell on Betty to create a phantasmal image of Betty’s mother to help with her withdrawal, Maddie proves her worth by sneaking out and stealing a key to the cell.
After the Rat Queens escape their prison, they look for aid in old allies. Finding themselves knocking on an isolated cabin door, Dave the orc answers in pajama pants and a sword. Dalen is shown after and is followed quickly by a pregnant Violet. Violet reveals that herself, Dave, and Dalen are happy in retirement and as a family. The Rat Queens lament a bit about their current problems and Maddie exclaims that Gary should be something the Rat Queens could handle. Violet gives them comfort but most importantly gives them an a quest; a map that will lead to a powerful weapon and a new journey.
A QUESTION IN TREATING PEOPLE WELL
The topic of teasing and bullying becomes a huge center point since King Gary is reacting to the mean attitude he has received in previous storylines. This is contrasted by the conversation between Braga and Maddie. Braga says an off-handed comment to Maddie that causes Maddie to actively stand up for herself. Even if Maddie isn’t the most powerful member of the party, she shouldn’t be treated as useless. This is emphasised when Maddie’s small nature is able to save the day! There is a lesson here about how people should treat one another that is crucial to understanding both Gary and Maddie as characters. Gary reacted to his treatment by becoming a tyrant and Maddie reacts by going out to prove herself as useful.
Another contrast appears to be how the Rat Queens tend to be very tense and rude; Violet seems to give hope by her kindness and happiness. Additionally, she hands them new purpose in the from of a quest to send them after a dangerous and powerful weapon. However, perhaps the most powerful weapon that this journey will give them is the ability to once again work as a team. Introducing Violet back here is a smart move. Not only does it serve as a cameo but it also serves as a character who treats Maddie well, foreshadowing the growth of Maddie’s role in the party.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH PICKING UP
The art is superb in Rat Queens #17 and is worth the pick up just to look at the beautiful backgrounds that surround the main scenes. Additionally, the scenes are dynamic and nothing gets your heart pumping like a decapitation sequence. The writing is good but the content shows some old ideas involving the underdog becoming the villain. This doesn’t make the writing bad, but it is a story we have all seen before.The scenes dealing with Betty’s sobriety are very cliche but act as a way to add humor to a rather grim situation. Regardless, I think this is a great read if you love fantasy mixed with grimdark realism and humor.
Rat Queens #17
There is a lesson here about how people should treat one another that is crucial to understanding both Gary and Maddie as characters.