After some technical difficulties and artist shake ups, Rat Queens is back! But don't worry the artist may be different but the book is still amazing. The pan dimensional flying squids are still attacking the city, and the Queens are still trying to recover from the physical and psychic attacks. We open up with a scene of Hannah's mom and see where Hannah gets her intelligence, wit, and attitude from. After returning to the waking world, things move fast. Over the course of pages we get another Hannah flashback, this time showing an intimate time with Sawyer, a reunion of all the Queens along with some of the other wonderful supporting characters, a flash into Orc Dave's head, more on Sawyer and his captors, and a big battle scene. Somehow in all of this they fit in character moments, humor, more quipy dialogue then an episode of Gilmore Girls, and one of the most awesome exchanges between two random goons I've ever seen.
In short, this comic was amazing.
Something I would like to briefly discuss is how this comic has bad ass female main characters who are fully fleshed out. Unlike many other comics, there isn't any cheesecake in how anyone is drawn. The women are diverse and have unique body types with different personalities to match. The sequence where Hannah is reliving an evening frolic with Sawyer has them both naked yet it isn't exploitative or just there for sex appeal. Both of them are positioned in ways a normal human would be, and no backs are magically stretched or broken to show off more curves for the reader. You are really following the narrative and going along with Hannah as she tries to connect what she is experiencing (sex) with what her mind is trying to tell her, that she isn't really there and is needed elsewhere. Although I will say the line “Penis not helping” is one for the ages.
Another thing of note is how this issue has an epic feel when it comes to the action. Once the main characters gather and saunter towards the big bads there is just a gravitas. It's like seeing Wyatt Earp and his friends walk towards the O.K. Corral, shit is about to go down, and it won't be good for anyone in the Rat Queens' way. This is all done over a single page, where only one panel actually has Hannah and company. The rest is filled with two goons talking. One goon sees the group of heroes approaching and proclaims they will need an army to take down such a force as our ten heroes. The other guy reminds him and us that they actually HAVE an army only to be told he is a moron for thinking such numbers will be enough to stop the Rat Queens along with the Daves and friends. It is brilliant and hilarious.
The build up to the fight scene and the cliffhanger that follow are so well done as well. I could watch the Queens battle for issues on end with Stjepan Sejic drawing and be pleased as punch. The action springs off the page and feels like a fluid flurry of motion. In fact I dare say that Sejic's art is better suited for this book then the previous series' artist. There seems to be more expression in the characters' faces along with the feeling of movement throughout the panels. I hope Sejic will be sticking with the book for many years to come.
You should be reading this comic. It is not just a great fantasy comic, it is a just a great comic book period. The world is full, the characters are fleshed out, and the story is riveting. I can't wait to see how the cliffhanger is resolved and if the Rat Queens can actually save Sawyer.