It’s been quite some time, but we’ve finally got another Rat Queens issue on the shelf! This one in particular is a one-shot that spotlights Braga instead of our favorite butt kicking quartet, but it’s another gem from Wiebe all the same. Along for the ride this time is artist Tess Fowler, and together they bring us the origin story of the meanest member of The Peaches to ever wield an axe!
Now, Braga has only made a few appearances, so it was strange to see her get the one-shot treatment instead of some of the more prominent characters. Also, by now you may have heard that Braga is a transgender character, but that’s not where the story centers. Wiebe gives a stunning tale about Braga’s past that focuses on her not being accepted for the new direction she wants her Orc tribe to follow. After fighting for over a thousand years, no one knows what they’re fighting about, and she would attempt to bring about peace. However, her father’s ways aren’t hers, and it seems as if her brother would rather see her dead and the old ways continue.
If anyone was worried that this would not be as good an issue since the girls weren’t in it, put your fears to rest. Wiebe maintains the same level of storytelling that makes the main Rat Queens title excellent, and the only thing that has changed is the focus. It’s also a great issue because he’s not trying to use her sexuality as a driving story point, and by the time you’re halfway in it’s more of a passing thought. Though, this could also be due to several twists along the way that only make the story better.
Fowler’s artwork nailed everything right about this story, and though a few panels weren’t great the overall appeal was enjoyable. There’s a lot of detail in the Orc armor and weapons during the battle that gives everything more character. And much like in other Rat Queens issues the violence is bloody and brutal, but doesn’t overshadow the visual story one bit. The most impressive sequence involves Braga’s brother and his goons attempting to kill her. It’s just a nice display of Braga’s savagery along with some nice swordplay. As far as the colors go, things are a bit dark and muddy, but it’s because this is a story involving Orcs. If you want bright and cheery then go read something involving fairies or elves.
Braga’s story is a solid one, and Wiebe has made her a character we hopefully get to see more of. The story here lends itself to more as we know the past likes to come back and bite certain characters in the butt. So pick up this one-shot if you’re a Rat Queens fan, or if you’re a fan of Orcs slaying the hell out of one another! Either way you’ll have fun!