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Month of African-American Comics – Rat Queens #1

by  in Comic News Comment
Month of African-American Comics – Rat Queens #1

All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!

In this installment we take a look at Rat Queens #1 by Roc Upchurch (artist) and Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer) …

Rat Queens is a straightforward but delightfully fun comic book series about a team of female mercenaries in a fantasy world that is more than a little rough around the edges…

In this first issue, someone is hunting down and murdering the five groups that were shown on the above final page. The Rat Queens survive the attempt on their lives, but it is clear that this just the start of something way bigger.

The key to the appeal of the series is the characters. Hannah the “Rockabilly Elven Mage,” Violete the “Hipster Dwarven Fighter,” Dee the “Athiest Human Cleric” and Betty the “Hippy Hobbit Thief” are all modern variations on fantasy characters, but these women are more than simply variations, they are fully realized individuals and it is impressive just how well we get to know each of the characters by the end of the first issue. While that’s certainly a strong compliment to Wiebe, it is clear that these characters wouldn’t have nearly the same appeal if it wasn’t for Upchurch’s striking character designs. The action sequences and the storytelling are strong in this comic, but it is clear that where Upchurch stands out the most is with his character work. Each of the women’s personalities are written in their faces and body movements and Wiebe’s clever dialogue is perfectly personified by Upchurch’s facial expressions.

Not to mention the designs, which give impressive twists on archetypal fantasy designs.

This was an awesome beginning to a new series. It’s an Image Comics series, so I don’t think you need me to tell you where to buy a copy. They’re everywhere! But fine, here‘s a link to Rat Queens at Comixology.

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