Rat Queens #21 is published by Image Comics under their Shadowline imprint. It comes from the creative team of writer/letterer Ryan Ferrier, artist Priscilla Petraites, and colorist Marco Lesko. After the dramatic conclusion of the previous issue, Rat Queens #21 returns slightly more mundane. As the Queens settle in at the tavern for a night of revelry there is a sudden attack. A goblin storms in and attempts to kill Dee, calling her ‘The Last God’. The goblin is quickly murdered, but the Queens are left perturbed.
Meanwhile, in the forest, Hannah uses a ritual in an attempt to summon her evil doppelganger. The attempt fails, as an old acquaintance named Castiwyre is summoned instead. He promises help for Hannah in return for a simple kiss. The next morning as the Queens are enjoying a hungover breakfast a villager appears. He comes with a problem that seems easy enough to solve. But in times like this, no problem comes without further complications and ill omens.
After the high drama and action of the previous arc, issue 21 feels like a much-needed rest. Ferrier’s script is light compared to his previous issues, but that’s alright. With no present danger in sight, he has a chance to give these characters time to have fun. As a result, the issue moves fairly quickly and the reader is treated to some interesting interactions and backstories. Learning that Maddie is a musician is a nice touch to help round out the softest of the Queens. Seeing the lengths that Hannah will go to in an attempt to kill her double is also fitting. Does it feel like the issue is holding back a little? Sure. Is that a problem? Not at all. Ferrier’s letters continue to be a strong addition. Magic and mysticism are always enhanced by solid lettering, and Ferrier’s are perfect in that capacity.
As is always the case, Petraites’s art is wonderful. The expressions and body language are fantastic. Meanwhile, the action is easy to follow and the violence feels perfectly in-character for the series. It feels like the art has always been a high point for the series, and Petraites keeps that tradition with aplomb. The colors from Lesko are similarly excellent. With a variety of palettes, every panel is a joy to look at. The magic practically jumps off the page thanks to Lesko’s work.
I’ve been singing the praises of this creative team for months. Rat Queens #21 does not change my feelings in the slightest. While the plot advancement seemed fairly light compared to previous issues, it was still a fun romp. With this issue being the start of a new arc, this is a great time to jump into the series if you haven’t already. For longtime fans, it’s more of the same excellence that you’re accustomed to.
Rat Queens #21
…it’s more of the same excellence that you’re accustomed to