ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Vagrant Queen,’ Trade Paperback

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vagrant Queen

Vagrant Queen is published by Vault Comics, written by Magdalene Visaggio, illustrated by Jason Smith, colors by Harry Saxon, and lettered by Zakk Saam. This trade picks up the story of Queen Elida of Arriopan over a decade after she was deposed during a revolutionary upheaval that has left her in hiding in the rougher areas of the galaxy. However, when an old acquaintance shows up with information she can’t ignore, she enters into an adventure that will have galaxy-spanning consequences. 

The story that Vagrant Queen tells is a star-spanning game of cat and mouse, with themes of political upheaval and revenge. It’s also full of a fair number of twists and turns along the way. The story uses it’s science fiction setting to good effect, utilizing a number of unique concepts and tech that allowed for some interesting situations to play out.

The other aspect of the overarching narrative that really stood out to me was the feel of the revolutionary government hunting down the protagonist. It had all the feeling and trappings of the Republic of the French Revolution era, which as a big fan of history, I greatly enjoyed. It gave the organization a level of weight and seriousness not entirely stated but implied through the similarities that were shown.

The characters are, overall, an adequate group that are capable of keeping the reader engaged with the narrative. Queen Elida is an interesting protagonist as her arch is not the one I expected going in, yet was effective and a pleasant surprise overall. This is equally true for the villain who also has a big reveal that shows a more unique motivation than I initially saw coming. While there were no standouts to me, there weren’t any major duds either to detract from the story.

The only area where the writing struggled for me was in the overall tone of the story. Sometimes it felt like it wanted to be a quirky space adventure, other times it wanted to be a serious political thriller and was never really able to nail either. This tonal split left me feeling a little out of sorts sometimes, but ultimately it got its story across well enough despite these missteps.

The art has a certain charm, particularly where characters are concerned. It employs a slightly exaggerated style to highlight the characters traits and bring their personalities to the forefront. A fair amount of lighter and darker settings serve well to keep the environments looking different and help capture the feeling of galactic traversal. The only spot where the art fails is in a few of the heavy action sequences.

There are moments where it feels like a panel was dropped from the story and characters have kind of skipped about. One in particular during the finale fight left me thoroughly confused as to what happened even after repeatedly studying it.

Overall, Vagrant Queen is an adequate space adventure with enough charm to interest but doesn’t land enough of its elements to make it stand out amongst all the varied sci-fi offerings on the market.


Vagrant Queen
3

TL;DR

Overall, Vagrant Queen is an adequate space adventure with enough charm to interest but doesn’t land enough of its elements to make it stand out amongst all the varied sci-fi offerings on the market.