Hold on to your hats, girls! I’ve discovered a comic centered around 5 badass, foul-mouthed ladies. Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery TP collects issues 1-5 of Rat Queens, lent to me by a friend who thought I’d like the fantasy edge mixed in with female heroes. I loved it immediately.
Created by Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch this booze-soaked pack of maidens-for-hire consists of Hannah the elven mage, Dee the cleric (and daughter of necromancers), Violet the dwarven fighter, and my personal favorite Betty the lesbian smidgen. A wee thing she is. And adorable.
It’s like Dungeons and Dragons meets… Buffy? I don’t know. The girls are D&D type adventures who are hired to protect the town while simultaneously nearly destroying it themselves. They’re a rowdy group of misfits who want to drink and start bar fights. They want to party, have sex, and do drugs. In fact, the series starts with the girls mid-brawl in a local tavern. After trashing the tavern, the girls are given an ultimatum: either do some quests to help the town or get the hell out. They complete their missions, but not without finding out that someone has planned to assassinate them. Who? Well, I don’t want to give too much of the joy away.
Rat Queens is definitely not one of those stories full of cookie cutter characters that you can’t even tell apart by story’s end. The characters are all individuals, distinct, well developed, and engaging. This isn’t a comic that panders to women, the ‘heroes’ just happen to be women. They’re real with believable personalities.