The second volume of Rat Queens speeds along as we pick up right where volume #1 left off: the morning after the Queens’ raucous victory party. But not much time passes before the group is back in the field killing monsters & bickering about each others problems. Sawyer’s search for “Old Lady” Bernadette leads him straight to Gerrig Lake & his fiendish plan to avenge his wife’s death at Sawyer’s hands. Coincidentally, Dee’s husband shows up looking for a stolen artifact–the kind of mystical trinket that summons tentacled monstrosities. . . like the ones coming out of the sky over Palisade. Huh, how about that? The Rat Queens band together to save both Sawyer & Palisade once again, but not before a few ghosts from their pasts reemerge.
So, first let me say that even though I’m still completely captivated by this series, the story structure in this second volume is a little lacking. Gerrig’s plot to avenge his wife & destroy Palisade ramps up fast, and I often felt like the rest of the story was trying to catch up. Entire pieces of story are missing like how Gerrig got the mask away from Dee’s people, why Sawyer killed Gerrig’s wife in the first place (I know, he was an assassin but who hired him & what was the objective?), & where Betty disappeared to in the last few chapters. The reality-bending aspects of the tentacle monsters provided an interesting way to introduce the Queens’ backstories, but other than providing some spooky color, I’m not entirely sure what the tentacle monsters’ powers are otherwise. Also, Tizzie, a secondary character, gets a flashback but not Betty, a major one? Huh?
With that said, I love Dee’s arc here & how her struggle with her faith becomes a real test for her to endure. In the moments where she psychs herself up with, “I’m Goddess enough” & “I have to know” I was cheering her on each time. There’s still plenty of humor to carry the story forward, and the rebuilding of the town should provide plenty of opportunity for future rollicking adventures. Looks like Hannah is next in the plot complications department & a visit from her necromancer parents should make things interesting. Let’s just don’t forget Betty next time, ok? I know she’s small, but she has a big presence that was sorely missed this issue.