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Look, I know this one-shot about a “bad girl” who was designed for adolescent boys to get a titallating thrill from tales of utterly violent and satanic nonsense isn’t Eisner-award-winning material, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I was going to buy it just for the absolutely glorious wraparound cover by Juan Jose Ryp, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the story inside is a worthy addition to my collection of books and comics about pirates.

At first, I thought, “This is just a silly yarn full of well-worn pirate fantasy tropes.” But about halfway through this gorgeously illustrated issue, I was all aboard. I’ve never been a fan of Lady Death stories, even though I love the Lady Death aesthetic. She was always one of those characters who I felt had never lived up to their potential, maybe even a character I would like to try writing someday to do her justice.

Pirate Queen proves she doesn’t need my help. Our leading lady lures her enemies to be devoured by some demonic sea reptiles and is rewarded by regaining her super-awesome sword of death. She uses it to re-animate an entire town full of slaughtered pirate corpses to take vengeance on those who betrayed her. She coldly celebrates her return to power and sets off on a quest that bodes ill for every living thing on Earth.

Now that’s my kind of story.

Collector’s Guide: Lady Death: Pirate Queen; 2007, Avatar Press.