Title: Rat Queens Special: Orc Dave #1
Words: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Max Dunbar
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Micah Myers
Publication Date: September 27, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “Orc Dave and the Ballad of Birds Long before Palisade and the Four Daves, Orc Dave enjoyed a secluded life with his father in the mystical Green Wilds. There are vile, evil monsters that stalk their land, but something worse has just arrived: the Rat Queens.”
Orc Dave, the big lug and Violet’s future paramour has always been the sensitive type, talking to trees and feeding vegetarian muffins to carnivorous predators, and such. We meet him before his days of adventuring when he was heir to the mantle of the Guardian of the Green Wilds.
This One Shot focuses on backstory and personality and is not as outrageous or humorous as what we usually see with the Queens. That’s OK because there is so much more to Orc Dave than we ever suspected. He is thoughtful and introspective and downright sensitive. He also has a destiny and some substantial powers of healing.
There are glimpses of humor in the brief appearance of the Rat Queens, but for the most part Wiebe departs from the usual over the top narrative. Instead, he has given us a worthwhile alternate take on his magical world. Still as delightful as ever but different enough to add something fresh.
Intricately detailed and splendidly colored, Dunbar and Bonvillain capture the wonder of a fantasy work with magnificent vistas of forest and overgrown ruins. Soft when it needs to be, bucolic and filled with peril or mirth as required.
Orc Dave is given well-deserved life and depth in a tale full of sadness and wonder. He is a true hero when one ought not to mistake kindness for weakness. This is a terrific addition to the continuing story of our beloved Rat Queens.