Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rat Queens, and How Kick-Ass Women Are Taking Over the Comic Book World (and Why That is a Good Thing)

Hello fellow travelers, and welcome to R-Day of the A to Z Challenge. By now everyone should be aware of what said challenge is, but in case you don't, just click on the big R over there, and all will be explained. Meanwhile, back here at All Things Kevyn, we are about to discuss how the comic book world, a world ruled by men for a long long time (both as consumers and as creators), has become much more diverse over the past few years, adding many new kick-ass female heroes, characters of colour and different religious backgrounds, and even changing the gender of long male characters. Of course, this being R-Day, and therefore the day we do a post about something R-related, this post shall now be led by some of the kick-assiest of kick-ass comic book ladies, The Rat Queens.

So who are these Rat Queens? They are a foursome of bad-ass fightin' ladies from the self-titled fantasy title from the always fine folks over at Image Comics. And these aren't your normal comic ladies of old. These ladies are no ladies. Foul mouthed and sex crazed, strong and powerful, never taking a back seat to any man, The Rat Queens are the epitome of the new direction in female comic book characters. Okay, perhaps they are more the extreme faction, but there is definitely a change a-comin'. Over at DC, you have a new direction for already strong female characters, especially Batgirl, now being drawn, beautifully I might add, by Babs Tarr, and Harley Quinn, drawn (and co-written with her hubby) by Amanda Conner. Over at Marvel, we have Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (the coolest of all superheroes, male or female) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Ms. Marvel, a teenage Muslim superhero, created by G. Willow Wilson. And I haven't even brought up the new female Thor, and other brave and bold characters such as Gamora, Black Widow, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, the newly recreated Jean Grey, Squirrel Girl, and She-Hulk, who was recently revamped.

Meanwhile, back over at Image, we also have Matt Fraction's Sex Criminals, which is one of the best comics out there today, and it is headlined by yet another strong female character. There is also the super feminist (and I mean that with absolutely no snark whatsoever) Bitch Planet, created by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, about a prison planet where so-called non-compliant women are sent. Have I mentioned that Kelly Sue DeConnick rocks? I haven't? Well, trust me. she does indeed rock. She also does a comic called Pretty Deadly, which is pretty awesome. Anyhoo, on with the show. But you should check her out. And this is just scratching the surface of the new direction in comic books. Some would say that taking a typically male dominated world and tossing in diversity just for diversity's sake, is never a good thing, but these new comics, and this new direction is not just diversity for diversity's sake. Some of these titles, especially Captain Marvel, Batgirl, Ms. marvel, Bitch Planet, and Rat Queens, all about strong women, many created by strong women, are some of the best comics around today. So go ahead and check some of them out...or all of them if you so desire. Hey, even the BBC series Orphan Black, is now a comic book. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Now here are The Rat Queens, in all their beautifully bloody glory...


  1. Hey dude, dem Rat Queens are da bomb diggity, yo!

    Seriously, it is really cool to see more of a female voice, both as character and as creator. Also, the strides the industry is making in LGBT characters, is beginning to grow. They still have a long way to go, especially DC, but it is going in the right direction.

    With dat bein' said, those Rat Queens are the bosses of rock city!!