After the explosive events of issue seven, Rat Queens #8 allows readers to catch their breath a little. While Sawyer may be in major trouble as well as the towns folk Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch explore Violet's back story with all the wit, sass and action you'd expect from a Rat Queen.
Considering the consistent quality of the series, both in writing and art, the fact that this issue diverts from the shocking cliffhanger and explores Violet’s “origin” is a welcomed diversion because the character is so badass. The series has been so solid and entertaining that Wiebe and Upchurch can do no wrong at this point.
And Violet’s story is no exception. The daughter of a king, underestimated and relegated to walking the runway with her kingdom’s latest armored fashions, Violet would rather participate in the inter-kingdom tournament. Yearning to break out she finds some inspiration and rebels against the norms of the time and finds some support and encouragement in her own home. It’s a heart-warming turn that comes after Violet lashes out at a troll (figuratively speaking that is). It would be unfair to give away more details in this wonderful stand-alone issue.
As usual Upchurch’s facial expressions, action scenes and vibrant colors make this one of the best looking comics on the market. The use of Violet’s bright orangy-red hair is especially poignant and relevant in this tale of breaking free from put-upon expectations. The fight scenes pop by the way they’re staged but Upchurch can just as easily make the delicate moments shine with subtlety.
The bottom line with Rat Queens is if you’re not reading it do so as soon as possible. Get the first trade that collects #1-5, buy them all, tell your friends, tell your neighbors because it should be read and enjoyed by everyone. Give them as a gift and bring some joy to someone’s miserable life. Things are about to get even more awesome.