Previously in Rat Queens, Vol. 1
In the aftermath of the raucous party that celebrated Palisade’s defense of the Orc attack, the queens wake up in various states on the emotion spectrum. Betty is back with her boo and she’s in heavenly bliss. Violet, Orc Dave, and his beard pigeons are now a thing, and Hannah and Sawyer are angry because last week was supposed to be the last time. Alas, for poor Dee, who due to her social awkwardness, wakes up alone and sad.
Over breakfast, the girls call Hannah out for trying to hide her tryst with Sawyer despite her casting an invisibility spell to cloak his exit. They’re interrupted by Gary, who tries to ingratiate himself into conversation, but gets punched in the face by Dee for his efforts. The girls are then summoned by Major Kane, and at his office Hannah and Violet argue over who’s at fault for breaking the Penis of the Gift of Palisade, but the Major didn’t summoned them for that. They each have to pay 50 gold for their parts in getting rid of the Orcs, although it was their fault the orcs were there in the first place, and also to hire them for a new job protecting caravans from being waylaid.
As they prepare, Betty questions Hannah over what possessed her during the orc fight and tells her that side of her frightens her. The highway villains turn out to be mushroom people and as the queens kill them off, Betty delightfully collects their discarded bits and eats them. Later, as the girls return to Palisade, Vi and Dee harass Hannah about Sawyer. Hannah tells them it’s none of their business and storms off. Dee, Betty, and Vi come across an old man who is conspicuously dressed like Dee, but before Vi beats his ass for trying to sell them something, Dee tells them he’s her husband, Mezikiah. Hannah goes to Sawyer’s house, but when she doesn’t find him there she comes across Bernadette wandering in the streets. Hannah confronts Bernadette for setting them up, but when she turns her around Bernadette aint go no eyes.
Meanwhile, Sawyer and Lola search for clues to Bernadette’s whereabouts and Lola lets it be known she’s not down with Sawyer and Hannah hooking up. She tells him not to call her when Hannah fucks him over again. Sawyer finds a calling card from an Assassin of the Black Khali and he tells Lola he knows where Bernadette is being held and sets off to find her alone. When Sawyer finds her he realizes it wasn’t the Black Khali who took her, but Gerrig the Merchant who used Bernadette as bait to trap Sawyer. He casts a spell that has an octopus come out of Sawyer’s mouth and renders him helpless.
Rat Queens #7
Before Hannah can find out who hexed Bernadette, she gets zapped by Tizzie who thinks Hannah’s responsible because she’s the only one in town who knows how to black hex. Of course Hannah doesn’t care what Tizzie believes and before long they start slinging spells at each other. Tizzie questions why Hannah is still channeling Necrius after everything that’s happened. Hannah blows her off and walks away with Bernadette. Obviously, these two have a history and it will be Interesting to see how Hannah and Tizzie are connected.
Gerrig has Sawyer chained up, naked and showing all his junk, as he explains he captured him because Sawyer assassinated his wife as a member of the black Khali assassins. Sawyer tries to explain that she was the last one and that he’s changed, but Gerrig is not trying to hear it and will exact his revenge. Meanwhile, Lola is attacked by an old acquaintance who, knowing her fighting prowess, brought 7 guys to kill her. Lola has pretty much just been a background character up till point, but she proves herself a badass as she takes care of the 7 assassins in pretty spectacular fashion and before long has Ven wishing he brought along 7 more. She tells Ven she always had a thing for him before she stomps his head on the curb. Roc Upchurch does a great job depicting the fighting scenes.
Betty is still riding the high from her mushroom people binge as confuses Violet for a peppermint candy person.
While Dee and Mezikiah talk in private, Mezikiah indicates his surprise at Dee using the full mark of their GOD N’RYGOTH since he thought she left the faith, but she says it’s complicated and doesn’t want to talk about it. Dee tells him that she’s sorry but she’s not the same person he knew. Hannah arrives with Bernadette and Dee quickly deduces that her condition has something to do with Mezikiah’s arrival. He tells them that the Haruspex Requiem, a ceremonial death mask of their High Priests that absorbs all the knowledge of the previous religious leader, was stolen by Gerrig Lake. Dee explains that she knew the papers they stole from Gerrig’s office had to do with her people, but she couldn’t read them. She brings them to Mezikiah, who discovers Gerrig plans to summon a creature from the abyss, but without the papers that they stole from his office, Gerrig will not be able to cage them. Mezikiah’s proclamation is too late as the issue ends with a giant Octopus creature descending from the sky.
Rat Queens #8
In this issue we get a look at Violet’s backstory as Vi, clad in full beard, is preparing for the family’s annual gala where her father will display their new line of armors. Vi is not interested in the gala and what It represents especially since her father will only allow her to model the armor while her less able brother fights in the tournament. She knows she’s a better fighter than her brother, and proves it by punching him in the face. He makes a snide remark, but her father is old fashion and his mind will not be changed.
As the tournament begins, Vi takes an interest when she notices that one of the contestants is not only a woman dwarf but she’s also not sporting a beard. When Vi asks her about the dwarf tradition, the woman tells her to fuck tradition. Count Vi impressed. Later at the runway for the armor ceremony, Vi’s father presents the new line of armor, but as VI walks the runway she gets heckled by one of the dwarfs. Soon enough, Vi loses it and kicks the crap out of him before storming off. While stewing in her room, she cuts off her beard and is surprised when her mom comes in and finishes the shave for her. Her mother says she will always be proud of her, her life is her own, and she will never stand in the way of it. As Vi contemplates her new path, Hannah appears In the mirror and snatches her away. She then wakes up with Hannah dragging her on the streets telling her to keep her eyes on her while she fights an unseen foe. When I first read this, I thought it was weird that they would take a break from the middle of the N’rygoth’s arc to present an origin story, but as we find out later, Vi was just dreaming while she was knocked out during what I’m assuming is the battle with the creature from the abyss. I wonder if they will do the same with the rest of the queens.
Rat Queens #9
Issue 9 starts with a look at Hannah’s past where we see her mother consoling her after some kids tried to stone her for being a demon baby. Through their interaction you can see where Hannah gets her sass and “don’t give a fuck attitude” as Hannah’s mom distracts Hannah by joking her way out of the insults that were thrown, but Hannah’s mom also keeps it real as she tells Hannah she’s going to put up with that shit her whole life, because that’s the price they pay for being different – by not having a fear of knowledge that allows them to practice not only those arts that seem acceptable, but also those that are frowned upon. That’s what separates them from everyone else, but makes them better. But unlike Violet’s story which covered the entire issue, Hannah’s quickly comes to an end as her mom is stabbed through the back by a guard causing Hannah to wake up from her dream. She finds the town in ruins with the creature from the abyss in the sky. Hannah finds Vi and confronts the octopus creature, but then gets transported to another flashback of her and Sawyer having sex. She quickly reads that it’s a spell and despite Sawyer’s penis is able to focus back to real time. She takes Vi (which retells the last page from last issue) and they come upon Dee and Mezikiah.
At first, Hannah wants to know why grandpa Dee is balls’ deep in books while the world in crumbling to the ground around them but Mezikiah explains to them that they are dealing with an abyssal Shibagu, which is a dimension demon that feeds on the energy of displaced reality. Also, they are dealing with not one but three of them. Before long they are joined by Braga carrying Betty in her backpack and Lola. When Lola tells them about the letter that Sawyer found concerning the Black Khali, Hannah realizes that Gerrig found out about Sawyer and this is all about him. They march to Gerrig’s castle, finding the Four Daves along the way, where Gerrig is waiting for them with an army, but when the queens see that Sawyer is chained up, Hannah (and surprisingly Betty) freaks and all hell breaks loose.
During the fracas, the issue ends as Gerrig introduces another old member of the Black Khali, brother Clancy, who despite Sawyer’s desperate plea to come back, takes aim and shoots an arrow straight for Hannah’s face.
Rat Queens #10
We start with another glimpse into Hannah’s past while at Mage U., but this time form Tizzie’s dream. Hannah’s the goth loner who’s shunned and made fun of by all the other students and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Tizzie is the exact opposite, the good ‘ol girl, or elf, everyone likes. They strike up a friendship by agreeing to find a common ground somewhere in the middle of their diverging personalities. Tizzie wakes up in all the chaos surrounding Palisades and finds her way to Gerrig’s castle just in time to save Hannah from brother Clancy’s arrow. Hannah and Tizzie agree on the banality of a mage dying by arrow before teaming up to rain destruction on their foes. Braga joins after beheading a mage trying to read a spell in the middle of battle and tells Hannah to get her ass up to the castle to save Sawyer while they hold the fort.
Hannah catches up with the rest of the Queens who are being bombarded by arrows but a path is cleared a path by Orc Dave who conjures a Thorn brush, but is also mourning one of the Four Daves, who seems mortally wounded. As he struggles to keep the thorn brush that’s deflecting all the arrows erect, Orc Dave and Vi share a passionate kiss before Hannah pulls Vi off.
As they make their way to the main chamber we get another flashback of Sawyer and Hannah post coitus. Sawyer wants to progress the relationship further, but Hannah wants to keep it to just booty calls. Sawyer wants Hannah to just be honest with him and tells her how he told her about his affiliation with the Black Khali assassination guilds. When Sawyer resorts to calling her a coward, Hannah unveils her big secret, the reason she was teased for being a baby demon is because she has horns. Upon Sawyer’s hesitation, Hannah’s resolve is strengthened and she walks away in tears. Aww.
Hannah wakes up to Mezikiah shielding the rest of the crew and imploring Dee to deal with Gerrig.
Meanwhile, brother Clancy prepares to shoot again, promising not to miss this time. As Sawyer implores him to reconsider because Gerrig won’t stop with Palisades, Gerrig agrees with Sawyer and kills Clancy proclaiming this was never about Sawyer but about reliving his wedding day with his wife. WTF? But even then he hesitates because he knows he’s on borrowed time and as he says goodbye, Dee stabs him through the heart. Dee removes the Haruspex Requiem mask from Gerrig’s melted face, but before she gives it to Mezikiah she dons the mask herself to see for herself the validity of her religion. She’s able to dismiss the Shibagu back to the abyss.
As she removes the mask her face is not melted like Gerrig’s as she’s the new High Priestess of the N’RYGOTH clan. In the aftermath of the battle, as everyone assesses their losses and plan for recovery, asshole Gary arrives winded, talking about how he ran there as fast as he could and brags about how he saved a few lives by distracting a couple of archers. Sawyer, probably because there were no survivors to the town watch, congratulates Gary on his good work. Hannah talks to Sawyer and tells him she wants to take a stab at the relationship thing, although she’s still pissed at him because her friends saw his junk, but as the issue ends she gets a call from her mother who tells her something disturbing about her father.
- Although it wasn’t as funny as the first volume we do get a lot more back story on Hanna and Violet through the Shibagu spells and learn more about Dee through her husband Mezikiah.
- We also learn Hannah has her iconic hairstyle to hide her horns and we also learn why she’s been keeping Sawyer at a distance, although she seems to have gotten through that by the end of the volume.
- During the final battle, Hannah observes how Braga and Tizzie would make good Queesn. Tizzie quickly deflects and says she’s definitely talking about Braga, but I don’t agree because although Braga is a badass and probably the best melee fighter in the city, her fighting style is still just like Violet’s. Whereas Tizzie’s magical powers, being the light version of Hannah’s black magic, synergizes better and brings something that the team doesn’t have. Also, I’m not even sure Braga is a girl because in her one shot issue when she tells Black Dave her origin story, she’s a guy. I don’t know that the fuck is going on there.
- Issue 9 is the first issue with new artist Stjepan Sejic, after Roc Upchurch was let go due to legal issues, and although his art is not bad is definitely a step down from Roc Upchurch’s.
- Finally, looks like the next arc is going to focus on Hannah parents and probably Betty’s backstory as she’s the only one we don’t know much about.