Last we left off with our fabulous and morally questionable team of ladies, their entire city was about to be attacked by a Lovecraftian-esque monster. Do they have to power to stop it? Is it good?
Rat Queens #8 (Image Comics)
So there was that killer monster wrecking and destroying the city in the last issue, right? Well, forget about that. It’s not important for this issue. What is important is that we get backstory! More specifically, we learn of Violet’s past — specifically when she was still hanging around with her family and had an epic beard.
GAH! Her head shrunk several sizes in the first panel!
After I finished Rat Queens #8 I checked out the solicit information to see if we were really going to have an issue about Violet’s backstory. Turns out, there’s no mention of the backstory at all and the solicit basically says that Rat Queens #8 is the next part of the storyline and that “big things would be happening” with the monster fight (and this is why I don’t ever bother reading solicit info since they are often unclear, have spoilers, or do not indicate what’s in the actual comic).
Personally, I have no problem with having an issue that reveals Violet’s backstory and previous family life… but the odd placement thrown smack dab in the middle of the current story doesn’t really make much sense to me; it really breaks up the pace and story flow of the comic, even if there hadn’t been a two month delay between issues.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story overall. Seeing what Violet’s family and old life was like was intriguing and by seeing how the things played out and what influenced her, you can really understand and even sympathize with why Violet left them. Again, I just don’t see how this issue in particular serves the current plot and why it had to be placed in this order so randomly. (Maybe the Rat Queens crew just needed an extended break?) Hopefully, the main story gets back on track next time, even if the story and characterization added here was good.
Between you and me, I think you may want to kiss your ass goodbye.
Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing remains pretty strong with good pacing and story flow; the dialogue is enjoyable with plenty of good lines; there’s a lot of good emotion and personality in the scenes and the characters that really brings the situations to life and, if anything, the issue makes you want to see other issues that focus solely on the characters past. Also, the humor is still pretty good, though not as heavy as in previous issues.
The artwork by Roc Upchurch does a solid job at depicting the characters and their emotional state. The layouts are nothing particularly special, but still well put together. The tiny bit of action and fighting is stellar and the coloring is nice. The only real problem I notice is that the double page spread in the beginning looks a bit… unfinished. It’s mostly in the line work, because it doesn’t feel as refined and smooth as the other pages.
Is It Good?
Rat Queens #8 is a good issue that helps expand and develop one of its core characters in Violet and makes the audience feel more connected to her. The only real problem with this though is that this unexpected shift in the storyline really interrupts the current, intense story happening in the present. It’s a weird decision for the narrative and flow of the arc, but hopefully it can easily recover from this in the next issue.