Marvelette Missives – Rat Queens

Anyone who’s a fan of the high fantasy genre of fiction, encompassing everything from Lord of the Rings to Dungeons and Dragons and beyond, is familiar with the band of rowdy adventurers who travel from village to village, get into scrapes and then drinking it all off in the local pub. Of course, the less enlightened probably picture the entire group (or at least the majority of it) being male. Well then let me introduce you to Hannah, Violet, Dee and Betty, the philandering, foul-mouthed foursome known as the Rat Queens

Hannah is a mage who never wanted to be a mage and has a close relationship of the demon variety, while Violet is a bearded warrior who eventually embraces who she’s meant to be. Dee is a cleric from a monster god cult who happens to be an atheist and Betty is a halfling making her way as a thief, living on drugs and candy. They don’t really “fit in”, but they’ll fight for what’s right and always have each others’ backs. But yes, it’s not exactly your typical adventuring party.

The comic has good story arcs that are each available in collected volumes. The first introduces these wild women and gets right into what they’re all about as they fight off assassins trying to kill them and others. The second focuses on attempts to raise the Lovecraftian gods of Dee’s people and the third takes readers to mage school as Hannah tries to rescue her father. A fourth volume was released in October that is the start of a slight reboot after the series was supposed to become a web comic, but was picked up again for publication.

Rat Queens is full of adventure and does a good job going from the serious to ridiculous. It’s also a great example of diversity and representation in the comic book realm, so much so that it won the 2015 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book for its portrayals of LGBT characters. But keep in mind that this is a mature comic – the queens don’t shy away from rough language and getting their physical needs met. And there’s that whole thing about how much Betty loves her mushrooms!

Marvelette Missives is written by TinkEsq, aka Miss Dawn, Web Goddess of Geek Watch One.