Thursday, January 21, 2010

Joe the Barbarian #1

Joe the Barbarian #1 was going to be the comic of the day no matter what because of it's $1 price tag (no actual tag was on the book...that would be odd). I came across this issue when a random kid in the comic shop asked Mike, the owner, if the book had come in. Receiving his confirmation, the kid walked briskly to the book and grabbed it right away. He seemed so determined and excited for the book I figured...what the hell. I picked it up, noticed it was only a dollar, and kept it in my pile.

A Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy creation, Joe the Barbarian is published through DC's Vertigo line and can therefor use DC characters in the book. This is important to the book (so's only the first issue after all) because the main character has a bunch of toys which include DC action figures. The book follows Joe, a young boy who father has passed. He is a loner who keeps to himself and comes home to a mouse (or rat maybe) and his action figure toys. What happens next I am not to sure of.

I believe Joe falls asleep and wakes up in between dream/fantasy world and real life. In the fantasy world he is confronted by his action figures who are real, including a mock Optimus Prime who is named Ultimus Alpha (since the Transformers are under Marvel trademark). How the story is constructed at the end leaves me wondering if Joe is having a dream or...well, I don't even know what else. I guess I will see what issue 2 has in store.

Sean Murphy's art looks good. It has a very Vertigo feel to it. Not quite polished, but appropriately so. Also, colorist Dave Stewart does a great job of mixing up the tones of colors between the moods of the book. His (possible) dream world, when he is not with the action figures in his sleepwalking-like moment, has a bright fade to the colors making the reader understand that something is off about Joe's experience in that moment of time and location.

Besides a bad typo on page 3 ("It it" should be "If it") the book is off to a great start. I'm looking forward to issue #2.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neat post... the cover art is kinda wild.

My guess would be that it's a rat on his shoulder. I think a mouse would be smaller.