Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: Luke Ross (p), Drew Geraci (i)
Quite possibly the coolest thing about this second arc of Way of the Rat is the huge interlinked poster forming the (presumed) six covers in the storyline. Not very noticeable on the first cover on issue #7, but #8 gave it away and now #9 continues - it's a huge picture of a nasty dragon, who makes his debut on the last page of this issue.
Basically Boon (our hero) has cocked up and allowed the Book of Hells to fall into the hands of a bit of a crook - he releases all the itty-bitty dragons therein into a deep, dark, smelly pit...where they fight. But whenever a little dragon is killed, it gets subsumed by the victor who grows in size...until, eventually, you're left with one dragon instead of thousands... and instead of thousands of little ones, you get yourself one fuck-off mother of a beast.
Boon knows nothing of this, showing off his staff and sword skills in yet another battle - this is getting a bit ho-hum, I'm afraid, and although it's a nice touch for Dixon to answer the question "what's the best way to fight someone who is unbeatable with staff and sword?", it isn't followed through well - what, these rings have given Boon superhuman speed as well to bat them all away? I don't think so!
The best parts of this issue deal with the situation away from Boon, which is ironic in that these events would've looked great had Boon just run into them in the course of events, but the book would've been boring if it was just Boon fighting seemingly endless hordes of goons and then hitting the events in the last couple of pages. If Boon can stop fighting and actually do something far more interesting instead, then this book can really take it to the next level.
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