Comic book reviews for Rat Queens #4, Rat Queens #5, and Rat Queens Special Orc Dave #1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Owen Gieni, Kyle Charles, Max Dunbar, Micah Myers, and Tamra Bonvillain
Average rating: 2.75/5 stars
Rat Queens #4 by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Owen Gieni
And here we have someone’s literal game of D&D. Not that the treasure chest with teeth isn’t awesome. Not that Hannah talking about how her mom had less sense than her or Barrie and Violet’s weird twin relationship isn’t entertaining, this was someone’s weird D&D game.
Rat Queens Inc by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Kyle Charles
No one wants to think about medical paperwork and insurance in a fantasy comic.
Rat Queens #5 by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Owen Gieni
Two stars are solely for the opening sequence when the women are looking into the mirror and seeing their pasts or maybe their futures. The storytelling gave insights into each of the women. It added to their characterization, which Wiebe has left pretty flat since relaunching the series.
Additionally, Gieni showed off his artistic talent by changing styles. The fluid nature of the art was gorgeous. It actually made it so Wiebe didn’t try to fill every little silence with words.
Braga and Tizzy, oh, my heart. Betty’s, of course, was about food. Lol. Dee’s about her magic, Hannah’s about her friend-family, and Violet about how she does love her father and the rest of her family despite everything.
But then we get back to the main story…
There’s a gem — penis and ball joke. There’s a fish god creature. There’s a lot of talking, and I got so very bored.
Rat Queens Special: Orc Dave #1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Max Dunbar (illustrator), Micah Myers (letterer), and Tamra Bonvillain (colorist)
Wiebe always shines when he subverts fantasy genre tropes and in his intense character studies. It’s unfortunate that the action of Rat Queens often overrides these elements in the main storyline. Action — particularly the plotting and cohesion of it — is not Wiebe’s strength.
This story of Orc Dave’s last day with his father hits you in the heart. Especially as it slowly unfolds what’s happening. There’s always been a gentleness to Dave, and it’s explored here as a strength. Which is such an important lesson to teach everyone — but especially boys and man — about masculinity and the different ways to be a man. Orc Dave’s father is pragmatic to a fault, but even he still realizes his 20-year-old son’s gentleness is a strength.
I did spend a lot of the time wondering just how these men who live alone in the forest procreate. Now we know.
That said, this issue opens wide a ton of questions about the universe, and still more questions about Orc Dave. Why did he leave the forest? What happened to his child? I assume the child never got the powers as Orc Dave is a) still alive and b) still has the blue birds in his beard. Who is taking care of the trees? What happened to his large bird friend? What will happen to Orc Dave since he’s under the spell in the town?
Dunbar’s art is excellent. It adds to the gentle nature of the story, and provides layers. Wiebe seems to work best with artists who draw clear representations of the characters and what makes them unique and can add their own flare to the characters.