Sunday, June 14, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe

Title:  Rat Queens Volume 1:  Sass and Sorcery

Author:  Kurtis J. Wiebe

Artist:  Roc Upchurch

Genre:  Adventure / Friendship / Fantasy / Action

Year Published:  2014

Year Read: 6/13/2015

Series:  Rat Queens #1

Publisher:  Image Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Gory Violence and Strong Language)


Move over “SAGA,” a new brand of witty and fun loving storytelling has arrived!

Well, I still love Brian K. Vaughan’s “Saga” series, but after reading this first volume of “Rat Queens Volume One: Sass and Sorcery” by Kurtis J. Wiebe along with artwork by Roc Upchurch, this series has moved up a slot on my most favorite comic book series of all time, with “Saga” still being at the top of the list!

What is this story about?

Meet the Rat Queens, a group of strong and high spirited young women who get involved in various battles whenever they are hired to do so.  The members of this crazy group are Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage who is the leader of the group, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter who is second in command, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief who is like the funniest member of the group.  This rambunctious group of female fighters will do battle with anyone, however they will soon find out that there is a conspiracy going on in their town that might change their lives forever once they discover the secrets of the conspiracy!

What I loved about this story:

Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing: Wow…just wow… I never would have thought that I would read another comic book that was as exciting and creative as “Saga” was, but man did “Rat Queens” took me by surprise and in an extremely good way!  Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing was truly witty and fantastic to read as I was literally laughing at all the sarcastic dialogue between the characters, especially between the Rat Queens and it really gave this volume a comical edge to the intense battle sequences.  I also loved the fact that Kurtis J. Wiebe made this series reminiscent to the “Dungeons and Dragons” series with the main characters using all kinds of sorcery and sword fighting to defeat their foes in battle, while also combing the sarcastic wit and female empowerment of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” into the story.  I also loved the fact that the Rat Queens are diverse characters as we have Dee who is a Black Human Cleric, Violet who is a White Dwarven Fighter and Betty who is a Homosexual Smidgen Thief and it really rounds out the characters extremely well and brings a lot of dimension to the story.  I also loved the fact that we have a comic book that has a group of strong female protagonists (even though this has been done a dozen times over in comic books like “X-Men” and “Birds of Prey”) and each character really bring out something interesting to the storyline, with my favorite character so far being Betty the Smidgen Thief as she is the comic relief of the group!

Roc Upchurch’s artwork:  Roc Upchurch’s artwork was amazing as the sorcery world that the Rat Queens live in is extremely creative and detailed and I really love the ancient technology that the girls use in this universe as it gives you a sort of Renaissance feel to the whole experience.  I also loved the way that Roc Upchurch drew each Rat Queen character as they all have outfits that distinguish them from each other like Dee is always wearing a purple flowing skirt and Betty is wearing an old thief’s outfit.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like gory violence and strong language, this volume does contain many scenes where characters are smash to death and you can see their blood and guts all over the ground.  Also, this volume contains strong language such as the use of the “s” word and the “f” word many times over.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Rat Queens Volume One: Sass and Sorcery” is definitely one comic book that you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, and TRULY must seek out at all costs as it is filled with some awesome battle sequences and character interactions that you cannot miss!  Now, I am off to read the second volume of this fantastic series!

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