Published on January 3rd, 2018 | by Dana Folkard
RAT QUEENS VOL. 2 #7 REVIEW
Summary: Emotions run high.
Strange and unsettling things are happening in Palisade. People keep mysteriously disappearing without a trace, the Sky Watcher cult continues to grow and a mysterious wizard who preys on the suffering of others is lurking around town. Violet’s life is struck with tragedy, as she receives some distressing and life-altering news that will change the course of her path forever.
We begin this issue following Violet as she walks through a forest, searching for Orc Dave. She finds him in a beautiful forest dwelling, making mushroom soup. This is a sad reunion, as Violet pleads with Dave to talk to her about why he is avoiding and ignoring her. At this moment it feels like we are witnessing the breakdown of their relationship. Orc Dave is convinced that none of this reality is real, and is in fact a dream created by the tentacled sky demon the Queens battled in the past. After an emotional chat, Dave reveals to Violet that he lost his son after abandoning him, reflecting on how he has wasted so much time waiting, fearing Violet would harshly judge him, however, instead of judgement, he receives empathy and love. We then jump over to Palisade, where we see the Queens gathered at their favourite tavern, enjoying a beer and a chat. Whilst they talk about Orc Dave and why the hell they keep coming to this tavern, Betty sneaks off to try to find Maddie, the tavern owners daughter. Betty finds her room empty, being used for storage, and notes that something strange is happening, as it seems like Maddie has been wiped out of existence, as no one seems to remember who she is. The Queens lunch is then interrupted by the wizard Zestrum, who is looking for the mushroom wizard Neil, as he has been missing for a day. The Queens decide to investigate, with all leads taking them to the swish new establishment called The Brood.
A lot of subtle things happen in this issue, with the overall feeling of mystery continuing to increase. More strange encounters and events keep unfolding around the Queens, with only Betty truly being aware of what’s going on. There seems to be an air of indifference with some of the other Queens, not fully noticing some of those who have gone missing, for instance, Maddie’s case. This is an emotional issue for Violet, who has a poignant encounter with Orc Dave, and also receives some tragic news from her brother, Barrie. Violet is abruptly plunged into a feeling of overwhelming grief that takes her to a dark place emotionally. This in turn could lead to an interesting development, considering the nature of things in Palisade and the mysterious new wizard who keeps appearing to those vulnerable to pain and suffering.
However, things aren’t all sad and emotional, as in true Queens form it’s still filled with all those wonderful and funny moments that we’ve come to love. There is a highly entertaining adventure involving Neil the mushroom wizard and a hideous monster who dreams of being a chef. For me, it’s all about the sharp and witty banter during these adventures that make these scenes extra special. The absolute absurdity of it all, combined with the hilarious Queens antics fuse together to form a highly-entertaining and comical side quest. It is during these moments, where I really appreciate Kurtis Wiebe’s writing the most, as we see him effortlessly balance the light and dark elements of this story perfectly.
The art by Owen Gieni is energetic, vibrant and lovely to look at. I always enjoy how well Gieni injects the right amount of emotion within the individual Queens. I found Violet and Orc Dave’s conversation at the beginning of the issue to be so beautiful and seeing the pain on Dave’s face as he talks to her was a moving moment…I’m not crying, you’re crying! I also love how Gieni draws some of the nastier and gross details in this issue. There is something about the armpits of Neil, exploding with mushrooms that makes me shiver. It’s disgusting and abhorrent and I love it! There is also a wonderfully grotesque brother-morphing monster that made me laugh-out-loud from it’s absurd design. Two words: penis toe. The colouring matches the vibrant energy of this issue. I love how this world is awash in the most lovely colour palette, making the already striking art shine even more so.
Overall, I found this to be both sad and entertaining. Violet is experiencing a lot of personal anguish, which may lead her down a dark and ominous path and I’m curious to see where this will take her in future issues. I recommend you grab a copy ASAP and venture forth with the Queens on their next exciting adventure.
I’m giving this issue 5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Owen Gieni, Ryan Ferrier
PUBLISHER: Image Comics/Shadowline Comics
PUBLICATION DATE: January 03, 2018
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard