If you are looking for a sexy, boozy, D&D-inspired, lady-centric adventure comic (and who isn’t?) then Rat Queens is where it’s at.
Betty, Dee, Hannah, and Violet are a quartet of baddass adventuring blades-for-hire, who generally cause more trouble than they fix. The Rat Queens:
- Hannah, an elf necromancer and a tall glass of foul-mouthed rockabilly attitude
- Violet, a kill-first-ask-questions-later dwarf fighter who shaved her beard before it was cool
- Dee, a human cleric who happens to be an atheist with social anxiety issues
- Betty, a free-loving, mushroom-popping smidgen thief who ain’t no fool
(I told you.)
Sent out to clear a goblin infestation as punishment for yet another drunk and disorderly arrest, the Queens instead find a shadowy, and somewhat ineffective, assassin. One fortuitous, but really gross, troll intervention later, and the ladies are off to find out just who the hell would want them dead. Since the list is actually kind of long, they have to do a bit of digging, while also defending the town from the revenge of an angry troll girlfriend. Between the drinking, the mind-altering substances, family and romantic drama, and bloody altercations, the Queens still manage to uncover a sinister plot and (kind of) save the town of Palisade and their own asses.
As someone who has played D&D for years and read fantasy novels since childhood, Rat Queens is just perfect. Wiebe and Upchurch take the best elements of role playing and cut out the self-serious, faux-medieval nonsense and get straight to great storytelling and compelling characters. The Queens, though falling into the race/class categories typical of Forgotten Realms-type storytelling, are not empty tropes, but people. Awesome, flawed, complicated people. The world is built of pure fantasy and is full of glorious, hilarious anachronism: a relic infused with dead souls that is basically a magical cell phone, drinks served in martini glasses, tunics styled like band t-shirts. The art is absolutely gorgeous, from the character designs to the tiny background details. But the best part is the pure, unadulterated ATTITUDE:
Oh yeah, and it's not for the kiddies.