Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: April 13th 2016
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
After stopping the end of the world the Rat Queens make their way to Mage University. Something has happened to Hannah’s father, and they intend to find out what. But nothing ever goes as planned when the Queens are involved.
Rat Queens is a series that started with a bang…but is, unfortunately, fizzling out. The third volume’s story is much more disjointed and the arc is much weaker. Hannah is the star, which is fine, but the other girls seem to be nothing more than background characters. Betty gets a huge reveal that’s pushed out of the spotlight for Hannah’s story. This is unfortunate because so much of Rat Queens relies on the amazing group dynamics and not the girls’ abilities to hold stories on their own.
The narrative isn’t as clear as previous volumes. There’s a lot of jumping around that makes very little sense and some filler side-stories who’s page space might’ve been better used on the main plot. Perhaps it’s a bit because this plot arc was too large to fit in one volume – but it ends up feeling poorly planned and just like nothing much has happened. The humour and sass are also almost completely missing from this volume.
The art style is, for the most part, a loss. The previous illustrator gave us diverse bodies and regular looking women. The new artist emphasizes large busts and butts and beautiful faces. They feel much more like fanservice than powerful women now. Some panels are quite beautiful, but there are plenty of panels that are poorly rendered perspective or just feel lazy.
The Braga special was the high point of the book. It showcases Braga as a transgender character without making that the focus of her story. It’s an absolutely interesting and beautiful piece in an otherwise subpar volume.
It is a shame to see something so mighty fall – but I still think that there is a chance for Rat Queens to pick itself back up again. Volume 4 could prove to be as much of a winner as Volume 1. We’ll have to wait and see.