— that it was a bit too "cool," a bit too Bettie Page-ish with macho-hipster barbershop pin-ups
— were lifted almost immediately after actually starting to read it. It felt like the real deal. Real cool, not "trying too hard" cool.
Rat Queens is a fantasy-based series (there are orc, fairies, and so on all in a medieval looking setting and with swords and magic rather than machine guns) but with modern sensibilities. Females are definitely not reduced to wenches or princesses here and sex and drugs are commonplace. As for the four titular characters, they're varied in both personalities and looks, but all tough and likeable. They're remarkably well-developed in such a short space and in a book with so much action that I'd hardly call it a character-based story at all.
Upchurch's art was vibrant and expressive, most impressive in his depiction of varied and realistic body shapes, and for blurring the backgrounds to draw focus to foreground characters when necessary.