Archive for Rat God



The Wicked + the Divine #11

Shall I trust that you’ve all heard of Wham Episodes?

That’s what happens when you’re reading a story or watching a show, and there’s a plot twist so sudden and shocking that it marks a point where nothing will ever, ever be the same again.

Henry Blake’s death in M*A*S*H? Wham Episode. The destruction of Vulcan in the movie reboot of Star Trek? Wham Episode. “I did it thirty-five minutes ago” in Watchmen? Wham Episode.

In this issue, Baphomet tries to kill Inanna. He maybe succeeds, he maybe doesn’t. But that’s not the Wham Episode.

Everything that happens after that is the Wham Episode.

Verdict: Thumbs up. No, of course I’m not giving you spoilers. This is too good and too horrible. You’ll have to experience it for yourself.


Rat God #5

Clark Elwood has been blackmailed into going along with Peck’s plan to kill his father and take over the cult in the tiny, backwards village of Lame Dog, but they’re effortlessly found out and captured. Peck’s father ties them in the dungeon to be eaten by the rat god. The monster devours Peck, but Kito’s brother Chuk helps Clark escape before being killed by the god, but Clark and Kito are still being pursued by the rat god and the mad cult leader? Will they manage to destroy their foes? And even if they can, will they be able to escape from Lame Dog?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An excellent end to the series — and as always, amazing, glorious artwork by the great Richard Corben.

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Party Hard


The Wicked + the Divine #10

With her new powers as the triple goddess Urdr, Cassandra manages to uncover who tried to kill Luci at her high-rise apartment in the first issue — it was a couple of god fanboys, as everyone had started to suspect. Meanwhile, Baphomet has decided to kill all three of Urdr’s bodies during the Ragnarock music festival because he hopes he’ll be able to absorb the years still allotted to her so he can live longer. The attempt at deicide fails when the Morrigan interferes. Ananke is prepared to kill Baphomet, but Morrigan whisks him away to the underground. But the chaos has already pushed the crowds at the festival into a riot — Urdr moves to quash it by broadcasting her message of endless nihilism — but her bleak sermon just makes them love her even more. And Baphomet is still plotting to kill one of the gods…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art, as always. More of a transition story after the shock revelations of the previous issue — it feels like we’re working our way toward some sort of climax.


Rat God #4

The clean-cut but still terribly rodent-like Mr. Peck wants Clark to kill his father, the leader of the town’s cult. Clark hilariously claims to be “a completely nonviolent person” after killing three of the town thugs. To get Clark’s cooperation, Peck offers to give him his beloved Kito, now strangely passive. Gharlena, the simple-minded innkeeper’s daughter, wants Clark for herself and is very upset by his continued rejections. Peck escorts Clark to a grand masked ball put on by the cult, where all manner of drunken and creepy misbehavior goes on — but someone already knows about their schemes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Gloriously detailed and creeptastic artwork by Richard Corben. A fun penultimate chapter — can everything get wrapped up nicely in the next issue? Will Clark get what he wants? Or will Clark get what he deserves?

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Worth the Blood


Southern Bastards #8

We get the final story in the origin story of Coach Boss, where he works out a scheme to rise from being a lowly ball boy to become the coach of the local football team — and he only has to brutally step on a few people on his way to the top. But will he end up with any true allies on his side? Or just flunkies looking for a way to ride his rotten coattails?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Still the best bowl of burnt-to-hell Southern noir you’re going to find anywhere. The last few issues have gotten us to feeling a lot of sympathy for Euless Boss, but this issue definitely fixed that problem. Coach Boss is the villain again, and trouble is blowing up over the horizon.


Rat God #3

Clark Elwood finally starts to turn into something other than a complete schmuck. He fends off the advances of the dimwitted, quasi-attractive, mostly-freakish Gharlena, then follows her and the other residents of Lame Dog out to the cemetery, where he finds petrified skeletons and a procession of cultists. The cultists start throwing people into a hole in the graveyard, where they’re eaten by a monstrous rat-like being. Clark tries to stop them when they start to throw his beloved Kito in, but only ends up in the pit with a couple of the other cultists. Can he survive the trip to hell? Will he learn anything unexpected? And where (and when) will he emerge?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful Richard Corben artwork, and it’s really nice to see Clark act like someone with a little emotional maturity. But there are still ominous hints that he’s still in way more trouble than he can handle.

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So Many Rats


Rat Queens #9

After a few months of hiatus for this title, the Rat Queens are back with their new artist, Stjepan Sejic. Our story picks up from the octopoid monster-god N’rygoth’s invasion of the city. He specializes in making people who look at him get lost in their own fantasies and nightmares. Hannah gets stuck in a couple — one a nightmare about her half-breed childhood and another about sexytimes with Sawyer. By the way, Sawyer is actually being held prisoner by Gerrig, who mainly wants revenge on the entire city because his life sucks. Soon enough, the rest of the Rat Queens are together, along with plenty of their mercenary allies, including super-awesome Braga and Orc Dave and his magnificent beard. Can they fight their way through an army? Can they foil whatever plan Gerrig has put together?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So great to see all these characters together again. Love the bits about Hannah’s past, love the super-awesome fight sequences, love Sejic’s artwork. Glad to see this title back and firing on all cylinders again.


Rat God #2

Clark Elwood continues to be a spectacularly stupid and horrible man, despite his supposed learning and sophistication. While stumbling lost in the snow, he remembers some happier times with his quasi-girlfriend Kito. After enjoying a soda with her, he later barges into her workplace, only to discover that she works as a nude model. He’s shocked and horrified, especially when Kito follows him outside, still naked, to profess her love. Back in the present, Clark is rescued by Kito’s brother, who Clark continues to treat abominably. Clark takes his car back and continues his search for Kito’s hometown, Lame Dog, a terribly decayed village where all the residents looks suspiciously like rats — and where they all advise him to leave town before dark and definitely to avoid the local cemetery. But Clark continues to treat everyone horribly and to keep jumping into conflicts he’s got no business getting into.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wondrously wonderful artwork by Richard Corben, creepy-weird story-telling, and just an all-around bizarre horror comic. Have I mentioned what a complete douchebag Clark Elwood is? Because the man is just an absolute douchebag. He’s the protagonist I love to hate, and knowing Corben, he’ll end this miniseries at the bottom of some eldritch monstrosity’s digestive tract.

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The Rats in the Walls


Rat God #1

Oooooh, what’s this? New horror from Richard Corben? Yes indeedy doo, I will have all of that.

It’s an amazingly twisty story, too, starting with a pair of American Indians in the Pacific Northwest on the run from either the Tlingit tribe (which is a tribe that actually exists) or the Cthanhluk (which is a lot more eldritch and fictional). One of them is killed by the Cthanhluk, but the other manages to escape — only to make a very brief appearance on the East Coast in the 1920s. From there, we meet up with Clark Elwood who picks up a hitchhiker named Chuk — who seems to be the Indian who was killed in the distant past. Clark Elwood is a colossal racist who claims to be a pure Aryan, despite the fact that he’s almost as dark-skinned as Chuk is. In fact, Clark is in love with Chuk’s sister Kito, who he believes is white. Clark’s insulting ways lead to him getting beat up and thrown out of his own car — just as a snowstorm starts. And around the time, Clark runs face-first into a corpse stuffed into a column of snow, he gets attacked by a panther. What’s a bookish New Englander to do?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We get Corben’s amazing horror artwork wrapped around a bizarrely Lovecraftian tale of rats and time travel. We don’t know a lot about where the story is going to go from here, but what we get in this issue is a ton of creepy unease. Looking forward to more of this.


Wytches #4

Sailor Rooks’ disappearance continues to fuel turmoil. Her father finds a word (“Here”) written on his stomach which he thinks is giving him a secret message to travel to the nearby Here Coast, where a hurricane wrecked a theme park they used to go to. While he remembers his former problems with alcoholism, when he nagged Sailor into climbing a broken Ferris wheel with him, he travels to the remnants of the park and meets the old woman who attacked him in their home. She reveals that the Wytches aren’t even human, and that they have the ability to control minds — in fact, they’ve exposed her to a substance that’s inducing her to commit suicide. She tells him there’s no one he can trust, and his daughter is probably already dead. But where is Sailor? She’s trying to escape the Wytches, who have their own special tricks for ruining the Rooks’ family.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Intensely creepy stuff. Not just Sailor trying to crawl out of a pit in the ground after waking up on a pile of children’s clothing. Not just her dad demanding she climb up an old Ferris wheel for no reason. Not just an old woman killing herself while rattling on about monsters and mind control and getting her legs eaten when she was seven years old. Pretty much every page is creepy and weird — and the last page is one unholy shocker.

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