The exploits of your favorite fantasy adventuring team continue in this volume, in which Hannah goes back to her alma mater, the succinctly named Mage University, to break her father out of prison. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse, culminating in long-buried secrets coming to light and a surprisingly emotional confrontation among the Rat Queens. Will anything be the same after this? Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing is as sharp and raunchy as ever. The only drawback for me is Tess Fowler’s art, which I don’t like as much as the series’ original artist Roc Upchurch’s. I found it too cartoonish for my taste, but it wasn’t enough of a distraction to change my rating to anything less than five stars.
January 22nd, 2019
The Rat Queens are off on a new adventure, trying to make money by taking jobs from the local “quest board.” Some time has passed since the end of volume 3, and therein lies the main problem I had with this volume. The cliffhanger ending of volume 3, which saw Hannah imprisoned in an interdimensional jail and confronted with a literal demon from her past while the rest of the Rat Queens went their separate ways, remains unresolved. When volume 4 picks up, everyone is back together and all is apparently forgiven, leaving the reader with no idea what happened. Even Hannah’s father, Gerard, is out of prison now and living with them (which, incidentally, leads to one of the funniest sequences in the book). I found myself both confused and frustrated by this time jump. The characters, the D&D-on-crack world, and the snarky, raunchy dialogue remain as enjoyable and engrossing as ever, but my frustration lingered. Another issue I had was that Owen Gieni’s art just didn’t do it for me. His style is way too cartoonish for my taste, and I barely recognized some of the characters. I’m still enjoying the series, but I’m starting to worry that it’s all falling apart.