In the exciting conclusion to the chaotic battle in Palisades, we learn some dark truths about our Queens. Is it good?
Rat Queens #10 (Image Comics)
We open on a school scene, and see that Hannah and Tizzie, a member of one of the other gangs, knew each other when they were young.
Despite their current snarkiness as we jump back into the ongoing battle, their banter does allow them to cast a kickass spell together, wiping out a bunch of enemy fighters.
As our heroes fight to get closer to the castle, we switch perspectives up on the tower to Sawyer and crazy Gerrig, who reveals that not only is he cool with reality being wiped out after he ascends, but that despite all his earlier rants, this has never really been about Sawyer.
Back to the Queens, a path opens and it’s Bluebird Dave(!) using some kind of forest magic to clear the path. As Violet comes to tell him they can help, he utters the time-honored, “There isn’t much time,” and sweeps her into kiss (squee!).
Just as our heroes reach the castle door and Hannah casts an opening spell, a new larger demon descends to meet Gerrig, throwing everyone back into their memory worlds. We see Hannah’s memory: Sawyer accusing her of holding back, and her revealing her deepest secret – her rockabilly hair hides sawed-off horns. Sawyer does not take this well, and she leaves him in tears.
Back to the present! Dee’s husband Kiah is shielding them both from the demon’s influence and they are able to make it up to Gerrig. Gerrig is deep in a memory of wife, until he’s run through by Dee’s sword. She peels the demon mask off his face and puts it on herself.
Dee has control of the demons, sends them back through the portals they arrived in. We learn that putting on the mask revealed that since she could control their people’s god (who is the master demon Gerrig used the mask to summon), she is now the high priest of her people. She rejects not only that role, but vows to fight her people’s worship of the demon.
Things seem to be settling down, folks regrouping and tending to their wounds. We close with Hannah and Sawyer cuddling where we saw them in the earlier memory, and agreeing they should try this relationship thing for real. Until Hannah’s communicator rings and fills her with a magic fire as she says:
Is It Good?
Ye gods, this comic. It’s hard for me to even try to be impartial in these reviews, because I am enjoying it so thoroughly. This was a truly satisfying conclusion to cracking good story and it hit all the high points I’ve come to love and expect from my Rat Queens: fantastic action, humor and snark, some decent gore, and whiplash plot twists.
Wiebe puts his flashbacks to great use again to deepen the world of Rat Queens: giving us the peek into Hannah’s school days makes Sawyer’s reaction to her secret that much harsher. We’ve gotten a bunch of tastes of Hannah’s backstory and I’m hoping we’ll see even more as the series continues.
Speaking of depth, I love the moment Dee has with Kiah as she kneels over Gerrig’s body. It’s a perfect summation of what it’s like being a lapsed religious person; that you can still find meaning and value in the traditions that are so ingrained in you, even if you doubt the truth behind them. A beautiful moment that really struck me.
Just like last month, Wiebe hits us with revelation after revelation. Hannah isn’t actually human, Dee is now a high priest, Violet and Dave kissed. I love how Weibe plays with pace, throwing in quiet flashbacks in the middle crazy action. He keeps you on your toes.
OK, let’s talk about that kiss. I love Bluebird Dave, I really just adore him. I may have literally clapped like a seal when he swept Violet into a kiss that would have put Rhett Butler to shame. He’s one of my favorite secondary characters and with each issue he appears in we learn a tiny snippet more about him. MORE. GOOD.
Sejic knocked it out of the park with the art in this issue, especially with the coloring. The details really popped, especially the various magic energies as spells were cast, and those red portals glowing as the demons retreated. Just gorgeous.
My one complaint about this issue is what happened to Betty? She only appears in a few panels and doesn’t have a single line. I know there was a lot happening in this issue but you couldn’t give her an action shot with a quip? I expect extra Betty in the next issue to make up for this.
And we end with a huge cliffhanger! You got me, Wiebe. I’m in and I can’t wait to see where you go from here.