Rat Queens, Vol. 2

“And if I am to be the high priestess, I will do everything in my power to protect my people from it.”

Salutations, lovers of comics and fiction. D.C. here, and today I’m doing a follow-up on this book:

In my last review on the first volume of Image’s Rat Queens, I was a little bit iffy about the series, but I decided to give it another shot with Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth. The title alone implied that cleric Dee might have been the prime focus of this book.

I was only partly right.

Da good stuff

Volume 2 is ripe with character development that actually happens for very good reasons. Hell, the volume has some moments of trickery, too.

The first issue shows the immediate morning following Volume 1. All four protagonists awake in their own ways. Of particular interest was Dee’s awakening. The other girls had peaceful, happy, or chaotic mornings. However, Dee’s was as lonely as her evening at the end of Volume 1. You almost feel sad for her.

Or it’d make you ask, “Why is a woman like her always alone?” You find out here.

From there, we see a man with a grudge come after Sawyer and the people in Palisade as a whole. It is then that we find out some startling events in Sawyer’s past. From there, the s*** really starts to hit the fan, and it seems as if Dee is the key to saving Palisade.

The art provided by Roc Upchurch continues to astound in conjunction with Kurtis Wiebe’s  script. There’s not much that needs to be said there that I hadn’t said previously.

The strongest aspect of Volume 2, in my eyes, was the sheer amount of background history provided on many of the characters.

When the story arc’s antagonist summons a horde of demons to wreak havoc on Palisade and the rest of the world, the demon’s reality-warping magics forces every person who survives to relive meaning moments in their lives. Through this, we learn the background about many characters, from last names to moments that enable the reader to go, “Aaaaaaaaah, so that’s why they’re like that,” or “Oh, that’s how they know each other.”

I even felt a little more for Hannah. Her background easily smoothens out the excessively rough edges in her demeanor. I commend Wiebe on his use of the plot to provide characterization so very well.

 

The meh…

Again, what is with the profanity? I can overlook cussing. Hell, I enjoy profanity. But Kurtis Wiebe makes some idiotic profanity. Really, in any time and space, who would ever come up with words like “dickbread”? It would have been funnier and more understandable if Wiebe used entirely weird profanity to make it work with the world of Rat Queens, but he interjects them with more “normal” profanity. It makes it sound like he just pulled out others haphazardly and with no reason.

Some scenes seem nonsensical. Betty and Hannah’s little sappy moment in the first issue was very cute, but…why did it happen? Just because of events in the prior trade? That can be understood, but it did come off as a random inclusion.

Drug-based comedy is also a minus for me

The editing of the dialogue fails sometimes, in a grammatical sense. And for a grammar Nazi like me, I find it very unprofessional, and very grating for an adult to be illiterate. For example:

“Fuck you’re depressed.”

I know we live in a lazy-writing text world, but would it kill anyone to take a split second and put a comma where it’s needed? “Fuck, you’re depressed.”

I don’t know if it was Wiebe who sucks are grammar, or if it was an editing mistake, but it shouldn’t happen, period.

No run-on sentences, please!!!

Also, there was one scene in which the word “offense” was used, and when used again, it was written as “offence.” Both forms do exist and have the same meaning (homonyms?), but why rotate between the two forms? It can look confusing. But that’s me splitting hairs.

Hannah’s background confused me a bit, simply because of the final page of the arc. I’m left to assume that part of the demons’ magic wasn’t simply retracing memories, but hallucinogenic in nature.

Story-wise, the biggest failure of Volume 2 is that the primary antagonist’s defeat is so anticlimactic. The antagonist had a background and enough reason that one could sympathize with his actions. But as for his defeat? Perhaps it was supposed to be simple, but the chaos he wrought before made his defeat later sour everything prior.

 

Recap

Rat Queens, Vol. 2 delivers very much the same deal as in Volume 1. Same good and engaging art, same crass comedy. Kurtis Wiebe does a fantastic job delving into the backgrounds of the cast using a very sensible and effective method in the summoned demons. However, I was left dissatisfied by the antagonist’s defeat and the bothersome styles of profanity used here. In spite of that, Volume 2 ends on a very good note between Hannah and Sawyer, with another set up to Volume 3.

This series has been very hit and miss with me, but I will read Volume 3 with the hopes of improvement.

END THROWDOWN.

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