By Cat Wyatt
For a while now Rat Queens has been building up a mystery. Characters have been disappearing for a while now, both in the comics and on the covers. Now it’s just little Betty on the cover, left in the blue hand that’s snatched away so many. In Rat Queens #10 we’re finally given the answer to the mystery, but we’re left with many questions.
The issue starts off from Dee’s perspective, which makes sense considering what happened in the last issue. Dee is dealing with some major regrets and moral indecision. Did she do the right thing? Was saving one person worth the cost and risk?
The blue wizard has those very questions, and would love for Dee to answer them. Whoever this creature is, they seem to see into Dee’s very soul, knowing what questions to ask to further break her spirit. The final question asked is the most painful by far; was Hannah worth the sacrifice?
The answer is no. Hannah is one of Dee’s best friends, but it doesn’t change the fact that what Dee did had a cost. And that cost arguably does not outweigh the life of one person. Dee has always been the rational one, and she’s always tried to protect the world from her cruel god. So it makes sense that she’s able to put it in such harsh, but truthful, terms.
With that answer the blue man takes Dee away. But to where? Dee was willing to go, or so it seems. Happy to leave the pain of her decision and regret behind. What exactly is happening here? How did the blue man break her so thoroughly?
With Dee gone that just leaves Betty as the last standing member of the Rat Queens. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it, Betty as impeccable timing, and chose that very moment to arrive. She finds the blue creature alone in Dee’s place, and it doesn’t really take much for her to put it all together.
You see, unlike everyone else Betty remembers all of the missing people. She noticed their absent and grieved for their loss. She may even have questioned her sanity at times, when nobody else remembered the people she loved so dearly. But she held on to her memories.
Those memories allowed her to realize that the blue man was very likely behind all of the disappearances. Betty being Betty is…unnaturally hopeful about the situation. She has to believe that this person had a reason for doing what they’ve done, and that she’ll be able to talk him into releasing her friends. It’s actually quite endearing.
Here the man confesses that he intentionally left her for last. Could it be he knew all along that she’d remember her friends? That she’d hope for a peaceful solution to all of this? Or did they intentionally allow her to remember where everyone else forgot? It’s hard to say which is crueler, not that Betty will choose to look at it that way.
Betty is a unique creature, to be sure. Where the rest of the Rat Queens are dragged down by regret and their pasts, Betty has always accepted it for what it is and allowed herself to move on. Even the little backstory given here proves that fact. She could have ended up a very different person, had she not decided to let it all go.
In exchange for Betty’s story, the blue man shares one of his own. He tells it like a true story, but with people like this you really can’t take anything at face value. You have to read between the lines. He tells a tale of a great friendship; where he and another studied time itself until they found an opening. Upon that discovery things changed quickly; the rip threatened them and the friend sacrificed the blue man instead of trying to help.
Betty saw the truth behind the story. It’s not something that many people could probably accomplish, so we should give her the appropriate credit here. Upon the revelation Betty lunges forward and hugs the blue man, saying that she loves him. Well, her as it turns out.
You see, the blue man is actually Hannah. And the false tale woven by her was close enough to the true one; the one were Hannah was lost and her friends gone, to remind Betty of the alternate history that happened between them. Talk about a twist, right?
Naturally Hannah looks…different from the last time we’ve seen her. Her horns are longer, with more ridges and other details. She’s gotten more piercings (or the magical equivalent or something), and she’s covered in tattoos. Most notably though, are her eyes. They’re colder than they once had been even when looking upon little Betty.
Remember when the Rat Queens went back in time to save Hannah from herself? Well…it turns out that it doesn’t quite work that way. After that moment, where the Rat Queens refused to help her, Hannah went bad. Really bad. She ultimately ended up in a void prison, because of her actions. Dee and the others thought they were saving her from that future, by going back and giving her the support she needed.
But they were wrong. Void prisons sit outside of time and space. Thus, because Hannah ended up there in one reality, she’ll end up there in all realities. Since this what truly brought Hannah over the edge…well it explains why she’s been going around making her ‘friends’ disappear, doesn’t it? She clearly is still holding a grudge, which may or may not be fair, depending on how you feel about it.
Now, there’s a few ways we could take this. We could argue that since Hannah was thrown into a prison outside of time and space that this is that version of Hannah, not the lovable one they managed to save. In that case we’re dealing with two Hannahs, the one that was left behind, and the one that was saved. That seems the most likely option, considering all the circumstances. That means we now have Hannah as both a protagonist and antagonist, which is an interesting situation to have.
It’ll be interesting to see if the two Hannahs ever meet, and if so how they react to each other. Based on how things ended in this issue, we know that both are aware of each other. But that doesn’t tell us much for how they’ll react. Or how the Hannah that is saved will respond to the whole truth of what has happened.
Rat Queens v2 #10