by Victoria Irwin
With a giant ogre still in their path, the Queens gather together to take it down. Hannah steps up first, preparing to do a spell called “the white screamer.” Unfortunately for Hannah, the ogre grabs her arm and literally breaks it in half before throwing her to the side. The rest of the Queens gather together, launching the Dwarven warrior into the air, Betty the Smidgen close behind, and Dee acting as a launch pad. Betty blinds the Ogre, while the dwarf attacks the belly. There is little room to celebrate, as Hannah must be healed. Her gruesome arm is held out for Dee, who quickly heals it. The Queens go to find out what has happened to the other troublemakers who were sent out on tasks. Tizzie and Braga, two others sent to clean up the town, are being attacked. The Queens arrive just in time to save Tizzie. Braga, thankfully, is not entirely dead, and Dee is able to save her life. Thought Tizzie and Hannah share a tense few moments of insults, it’s clear that something not right is affecting both groups. They gather together and realize that the Mayor may be behind all of the nonsense. They bury the dead, drink (very heavily) in their honor and then set out to destroy the town that tried to destroy them.
Kurtis Wiebe’s characters are that strange sort of charming that one finds in a foul-mouthed teenager holding a wine cooler at a party; truth and wisdom accidentally stumble out. When Hannah exclaims that she would give up sex for healing spells, one might actually contemplate this bargain. Girls fighting each other is nothing new, but when they are magical creatures with the same back-handed compliments and under the breath muttering, it is a thing of beauty. Women, and magical creatures it seems, fight with emotional subterfuge.
Roc Upchurch keeps the skirts short, but the wounds in this issue are more advanced than the first issue. Hannah’s arm, broken with the bone split into jagged pieces was a bit more than I was expecting. Betty cheerfully walks around with Ogre eyes on her blades, joking about their use for Hannah’s magic. The girls continue to be beautiful, even amidst injuries and shattered armor.
Rat Queens continues to be enjoyable. There is enough mystery to keep the story going, but a light-hearted air to the comic that doesn’t add yet another serious comic book of death and gloom to your long boxes at the end of the day.