Rat Queens #25 is published by Image Comics under their Shadowline imprint. It comes from the creative team of writer/letterer Ryan Ferrier, artist Moritat, and colorist Casey Silver. Evil Hannah’s time of revenge has finally come. The bizarre occurrences around Palisade have finally been explained. The onset of the Void left by Dee’s use of her godly powers has given Evil Hannah all that she needs. After her surprise arrival and standoff with the party, she breaks into a musical number.
But when the show is done, the showdown between the two Hannahs starts. We see a flashback to Hannah’s young life where she learns that Evil Hannah has been tormenting her all along. Just as she begins monologuing about her evil plan, a portal opens behind her. Caught unaware, she is stabbed by Castawyr as he attempts to save the real Hannah. But her machinations are not so easily conquered and soon, all the world will feel the effects of her powerful wrath.
With Rat Queens #25 we have finally reached the endpoint of this current arc. Unfortunately, despite the story having an ending, it still feels as arbitrary and aimless as the last few issues. What used to be a fun, raunchy comic about a band of miscreant adventurers is now practically unrecognizable. The characters seem almost like caricatures of themselves. Everyone stands around dropping f-bombs but there’s no humor or substance behind it. The issue also completely sidelines everyone except Hannah. Rat Queens has always been strongest when the group worked together to succeed. Here, everyone is rendered powerless and must watch on as Hannah and her evil twin duke it out.
This brings me to my biggest problem: the resolution. As with every other issue since #22, the story just sort of happens. Much of the action and battle takes place off-panel and there’s a lot of everyone shrugging and moving on. It really feels like the story is continuing because it must, but without any fuel to reach a real destination. I dearly hope that this arc was just a misstep and in the future it will all come together.
The art continues to be an issue here as well. I’ve spoken before about the bizarre way that Bettie was drawn and it hasn’t improved. Instead, there are panels where that strange animalistic style is used on even more of the characters. This leads to everything feeling extremely uneven. Characters lack consistency in their design and Evil Hannah goes through at least 4 different appearances but without any indication of a transition to ease the reader into the change. The colors are a mixed bag. Sometimes the palettes feel excellent and show true artistry. Other times, particularly in the more psychedelic scenes, they feel muddy and nondescript. The letters are well-implemented though. They are clear, easy to follow, and do a fine job of guiding the eye across the artwork.
I wish I could be more positive about Rat Queens #25, but I simply didn’t like it. From the story to the art it all felt messy and half-baked. I maintain my hope that the series will trend back upward heading into the next arc. But regardless I can’t recommend this, even to fans of the series.
Rat Queens #25 is available wherever comics are sold.
Rat Queens #25
I wish I could be more positive about Rat Queens #25, but I simply didn’t like it. From the story to the art it all felt messy and half-baked.