The cult favorite Image/Shadowline title Rat Queens is returning in the new year with a new #1 and a new artist. Writer/co-creator Kurtis J. Wiebe has recruited artist/colorist Owen Gieni (Negative Space, Glory, Manifest Destiny) for what's described as a "fresh, soft-reboot" of the fantasy series.
"Owen's style brings a real return to high adventure, insane action and character comedy,” Wiebe told Newsarama. “He has an amazing talent for crafting a world and when his characters act, they feel genuine and real. Writing scripts for Owen is the most fun I've had on the series in a very long time. Our new start with Rat Queens is getting back to the basics. Four friends who kill monsters for money. Except it's even weirder."
Rat Queens #1 is scheduled to debut March 1 with a first arc titled "Cat Kings and Other Gary's."
“Having this opportunity to bring these loved characters to life is a dream come true," said Gieni, who worked with Wiebe previously on Debris. "I've been a fan of Rat Queens since its first issue, so it’s such an awesome experience to play in this massive world. It's the ultimate collaboration, breaking story with Kurtis, laughing the whole time as we create new adventures really comes through in the final product. I can't wait for readers to discover Rat Queens again.”
Originally debuting in 2013, Rat Queens became a cult hit for Wiebe and co-creator/artist Roc Upchurch. Upchurch left the title in 2014 after a domestic violence arrest, with Stjepan Šejic and, later, Tess Fowler taking over the art of the title. The title went on hiatus after May's Rat Queens #16 after Fowler said she was "pushed out" so that Upchurch could return to the book. Both Wiebe and the publisher refuted those allegations, and told Newsarama that it was a planned re-organization of the book. In the interim, Wiebe worked on Rat Queens online shorts with Cecilia Dupuy, Mike Norton, and Max Dunbar.
The new Rat Queens #1 is scheduled to debut March 1.