Writer: Kurtis J Wiebe
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
The people of Palisade are going through quite the ordeal as they continue the battle against N’Rygoth. It took a long time to get here but we finally get to see how things conclude.
The last issue ended abruptly with a cliff hanger, and this issue took an odd approach of following up on it. The issue doesn’t actually pick up from the arrow being shot at Hannah, and actually starts on another flashback of Hannah. While at first this seems like a questionable decision, it later makes sense and the story benefits from it. The story seamlessly moves between past, present, and the dreams induced from N’Rygoth. The dreams do great at highlighting the complexities of Hannah and Sawyer’s relationship. We get to learn about their pasts and what drove them apart the first time.
The issue is a good blend of action and dialogue, with plenty of battles and heartfelt moments. The relationship between Orc Dave and Violet continues to develop more throughout the issue, making for a very natural-feeling romance. Unfortunately, the conflict that has been building for awhile is somewhat disappointing. The conclusion wasn’t too exciting and felt rushed. Still, Rat Queens isn’t all about action, so the battle’s conclusion isn’t enough to drag this issue too far down. There is still plenty of heart and the signature crude humor that the series is known for.
Stjepan Sejic is clearly adjusting well to taking over Rat Queens. His style is unique, and while the tone feels different, it certainly works here. This arc has been darker than the previous one, and Sejic is perfect for it. I’m still not a huge fan of how Hannah is drawn, but other than that, the art looks great. N’Rygoth looks menacing, and the backgrounds are gorgeous. Every expression tells a lot on each character’s face, and most poses avoid looking stiff. While a lot of fans weren’t too fond of losing Upchurch, Sejic is doing well at both maintaining the tone of the book while making it his own.