Comic Book Review: Rat Queens #14
Part of me was heartbroken when the news came that the story of Rat Queens would be coming to an end. It’s one thing when a book is cancelled, but another thing when the creator is ready to walk away from it. While heartbroken, I also was not very surprised either. For everything that centered around this book, every new issue was simply prolonging what felt like a story that didn’t have the same investment put into it as it originally did at the start. Don’t get me wrong, still a great series currently, but not with the same enthusiasm put into advertising or hyping it up.
Now the previous issue of Rat Queens #13 raised the stakes in a big way when you would never have assumed the Queens to land themselves in the kind of situation they are in now. You were probably bracing yourself for something a little more familiar. A new quest that gets violent, humorous, yet full of heart at the same time. However, this one has been anything but.I don’t think we have ever seen the Queens this helpless before. It was hard to see them with their backs against the wall like this with little room for escape. Usually we are more accustomed to the Queens coming up with some plan at the last minute to escape, or just being too good at what they do to be this overwhelmed. And it said a lot too when their numbers were up by four.The things that this cretaive team was willing to do to them was a great way to shake things up. I don’t think we have ever been hit with this kind of nightmarish atmosphere, so it was definitely something to adjust to. Even in fantasy stories you can expect the worst case scenarios when the decision is made to go into the underground enemy camp.
What I believe we all looked forward to most is what Dee could bring to the table with this new revelation in what she has become. The word we want to use is goddess, but even that is a tricky word for someone who is an atheist. With that said, how she approached this was fun considering there were so many things she was unable to do before that now came with so much ease. It was hard to deny the power difference in the face of pure skepticism. Having Betty around was a great balance to Dee’s personality since there had to be someone willing to embrace
I was taken back by the end of this issue when there was a couple of twists thrown our way which hit you out of nowhere. The kind that would both rock us and these characters to their very core. The execution was perfect for the actions and response alone. A few stepped out of character in a way that sent the message that this has now become personal. One of these twists was a complete blindside, while the other you may be surprised that you didn’t see coming in some way.
Oweni Gieni nailed giving us the best of both worlds through the interior art. Gieni really got into the sadistic nature of these Fleshers. If their appearance wasn’t grotesque enough, surely the process in how they come to being was. That little example given to us at the beginning of the issue was the perfect way to set the tone for the issue knowing that any one of the Queens and associates could end up like the poor cute creature who was used. Where this stood out most is the fact that Gieni clearly excels in his ability to create things which take on a unique form, or lack of. As for his work with Dee? That was the highlight of this issue for me. He really went all in showing us the kind of power she has now achieved, and the way that this changes her role on the team. Healer would be the best way to call someone who plays support, but for Dee it was simply support and in the most creative way which began to create this signature surrounding her purple gems/crystals. If the colors didn’t catch your attention, it was without a doubt the many shapes these things took on to aid the Queens.
Rat Queens #14 escalated everything about this plot for better or for worse. This story isn’t finished yet, so now is the time to buckle up for some hearts to get broken before this adventure is done. I think we all came for Dee to do her thing as a new goddess, but stayed for everything else which was an emotional bomb dropped on your lap.