Writer: Kurtis J. Weibe / Artist: Tess Fowler / Image Comics
Issue #12 picks up right where #11 left off: our queens are resting/getting tanked at
The Prancing Pony The Until Tomorrow Inn en route to Mage University when Nazgûl a Smidgen assassin gains the upper hand on a tuckered-out Betty. Luckily a drunken Vi stumbles upstairs and kicks down the wrong door just in time to… distract… Betty’s would be killer, effectively enough to save her friend. Let it be known that the way she saves her, how Fowler drew that page, I mean… it’s one of my favorite pages ever. I laughed out loud in real life.
We’re treated to some exposition and bonding between the two after the assassin is run off, which is nice. I hadn’t realized how little I knew about Betty until this issue, so getting some backstory on her was a pleasant surprise. She’s often the comic relief/Idiot Hero, so a quiet moment to see her shine was just what the doctor ordered. Vi is her usual self; cocky and quick tempered yet compassionate and tender with her friends. She’s also sexy as all get out with that beard, which I need to put out there just in case anyone else feels the same way and wonders if they’re alone.
Unfortunately, this is where this issue loses me for a moment. We’re taken abruptly from this moment to four pages of traveling with Dee through that place I went to when I dropped acid for the first (and only) time and spent three hours painting on my arm, then we’re on
Caradhras a mountain in a blizzard, then we’re in Moria The Dank Cave with Hannah’s Bane, Hazirel. Now to be fair, the events in the cave were delicious and necessary, although watching our girls take that resounding L was painful. Watching that ass whoopin’ turn into the cliffhanger it did though… BRUH.
Ultimately, #12 was a solid issue. I understand the need to check in with each team member every once in a while, and I know it’s a difficult thing to pull off successfully 100% of the time. This issue advances the current story arc, which is all one can ask from a book with as stellar of a track record as Rat Queens has. Tess Fowler is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists in the game right now, and while Dee’s detour was visually stunning, I can’t help but to think that Fowler probably could’ve captured that longing and homesickness in fewer panels due to how talented she is at depicting emotion and expressiveness. Add Tamra Bonvillain’s complementary color palette and skill at impeccably setting atmosphere and mood and and you’ll find satisfaction even in the disjointed moments. I’m completely in love with the current art team and hope it stays put for a long, long time.
Score: 8 out of 10