Hugo Reviews: Rat Queens Vol 1


The only crime of crude humor is when it’s not particularly funny and a lot of the jokes in Rat Queens feel crude for crudeness sake. After a few pages, it was incredibly tiresome and I’d lost interest before the story had even gone anywhere. Reading Rat Queens is like reading a real-play of D&D session run and played entirely by dude-bros. There is a lot of girls talking about sex, striking sexy poses, and doing the whole ‘we’re in-your-face badgirls!’ thing that feels like it’s trying too hard and never comes across as being particularly sexy.

Every page of Rat Queens made me wish I was reading Rusty & Co. instead. The jokes are funnier, the girls are cuter and who doesn’t love the idea of an adventuring party comprised of a Rust Monster, a Mimic and a Gelatinous Cube?

I will grant that Rat Queens had some decent fights, but that’s not really enough to make up for the cumbersome innuendo laden dialogue. Honestly, the worst part about Rat Queens to me is that there was a lot of potential being squandered. With time and some tweaks, focusing more on better storytelling than filling the characters’ mouths with bad sex jokes (and by the end of the volume, there had been a bit of improvement), Rat Queens could potentially be a great comic. But it’s definitely not something I feel like I could hold up and say “this is one of the best works of graphic speculative fiction” and I won’t be sticking around to find out if it gets its act together.  With all of the quibbling over puppies, I’m amazed that there hasn’t been a furor over Rat Queens Vol 1’s nomination in light of its artist’s domestic abuse arrest that led him to being kicked off the book.

This one will be pretty low on whatever order I end up putting down in the Graphic Story category, though I’m not expecting a lot from something called “Sex Criminals”. I know nothing about Saga, but it’s up to it to keep Ms Marvel from backing into 1st place on my ballot.