Review of Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe

Rat Queens is basically HBO’s Girls meets Dungeons & Dragons, featuring a four-woman adventure group: Betty, a horny, drunken “smidgen” thief (because every fantasy world needs its hobbit analogue). Dee, an atheist, socially awkward, human cleric of Cthulhu. Hannah, a tattooed, ornery, elf mage. Violet, a hipster, dwarf fighter.

Dragon not included

Dragon not included


Rat Queens takes place in and around Palisade, the sort of frontier town grown-up where once invaluable adventurers have become a liability. The story opens with the town adventuring parties (the Rat Queens, the Peaches, the Four Daves, and Obsidian Darkness) under fire for one property-destroying bar brawl too many. Each group is assigned a task that turns out to be a trap. The rest of Volume 1 deals with the fallout.

Each of the four members has her moments, the story is intriguing enough, and the comic is genuinely funny. They’re foul-mouthed, horny, and have a distinct tendency to cause disproportionate property damage. And can drink their rival adventurers under the table as easily as they kill their enemies. They’re joined by a host of cool minor characters, from a long-suffering captain of the town watch who’s sleeping with one of the Rat Queens to the friendly rival adventurer group named the Four Daves (exactly what it says on the tin) to a villainous local merchant to one very annoying town watchman. All in all, it probably has the best combo of awesome female characters around.

And it only gets better in Volume 2.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review of Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe

  1. Cirsova says:

    This is one I felt had a lot of squandered potential. Some of the fights were really well done, but I found most of the characters fairly flat: variants on the snarky, horny femme fatale but without enough depth to make any of them particularly endearing. It felt like it was trying to hard with the machine-gun fire sex references.

    I will say that I saw some growth by the end of volume 1 that made me think that someday this could be a good comic, it didn’t have me hooked enough to stick around and find out.

    Its books like this that make me extra sad that one of Wizards of the Coast’s legal stipulations against Mike R. was that he is never allowed to release a print edition of Rusty & Co.

    Liked by 1 person

    • H.P. says:

      I liked volume 1 but volume 2 is better (I will have a review of volume 2 posted tomorrow). It’s funny to see it lauded as something groundbreaking though, when it’s just low-brow dude-bro humor from female characters. Which I am happy to enjoy, but I’m not going to pretend it’s something else.


      • Cirsova says:

        Yeah, I think if it hadn’t been praised so highly, I would not have felt as let down by it. And I don’t have a problem with low-brow humor, but it’s better with a sniper rifle than with a gatling gun, y’know?


  2. Pingback: The Dogcatcher In The Rye 6/17 | File 770

  3. Pingback: 2015 Hugo Best Graphic Story Ballot | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s