By Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
The entire comic book community has been completely enamored with the first two issues of Rat Queens. This is a series that is practically perfect in every aspect of its execution. Issue #3 continues the fun-loving feel of the book while also introducing some heavier moments.
The latest installment of this foul-mouthed group of adventurers is a bit of a change in pace compared to the first two books, but the charm of these characters that are so easy to love hasn’t worn off. Kurtis J. Wiebe writes absolutely fantastic dialogue for every player in this issue that feels sincere and is full of the ridiculous humor we’ve become accustomed to. However, there are some deeper moments scattered throughout Rat Queens #3, particularly regarding past relationships of both Hannah and Betty. Despite these moments of change, the main plot is still pushing forward in a way that is both satisfying in each reveal, and yet still veiled in subtle mystery that leaves readers guessing. Tender scenes aside, the humor was spot-on once again. If you’re not a Betty fanatic yet, you haven’t been reading along with the rest of us!
The artwork in Rat Queens #3 maintains a subtle realism mixed with a suitably cartoon-like, fantasy overtone. The illustrations and shading show a great attention to detail, while the vibrant colors bring a lot of life to each panel. Once again, one of the most effective aspects of Roc Upchurch’s visuals is the character expressions, which are always perfectly convincing and really help illustrate the character emotions and attitudes. His artwork also helps to tell the story in a more complete way that doesn’t require an overabundance of narration or exposition; the way Betty scoping out the Merchants’ Guild and then recalling the details to her companions was depicted looked great and was a wonderful use of panelling. The fight scene in this issue also felt very realistic and dynamic.
Rat Queens is one of the best books being released. The humor is beyond anything else in the genre, and the characters have a ton of personality and charm. As stated many times before, this series would still be highly enjoyable even if the humor was absent, and issue #3 is an even better example of this; the humor has been toned back relative to previous installments, while there were definitely some more serious scenes, yet the whole thing worked to perfection and still maintained its overall tone. This is a book everybody should be reading.