Thursday, January 21, 2010

Must Read of the Week! Joe the Barbarian #1

From the original DC Solicitation:

JOE THE BARBARIAN #!

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Sean Murphy
Cover by Sean Murphy

Having an overactive imagination can get a kid through a lot, but it doesn't change the facts: Joe's still the kid in school that can't fit in. He's the victim of bullies. His dad died overseas in the Iraq war. And then there's the Type 1 diabetes he has to live with.So is it insulin-deprived delirium or something much, much bigger that transports Joe to a land inhabited by all his toys - from ninja commandos to action robots to magical knights to star fleet captains? Is Joe really the savior of this wild fantasyland that's been held under siege by dark magic and evil forces? With the help of a samurai rodent, is he ready to take back besieged castles and win the freedom of an oppressed people? Or is he just an over imaginative boy who could die if he doesn't take his meds?White-hot writer Grant Morrison follows up his phenomenal BATMAN AND ROBIN with an epic adventure that's Home Alone by way of Lord of the Rings accompanied with to-die-for art by future superstar Sean Murphy (YEAR ONE: BATMAN/SCARECROW, HELLBLAZER).On sale January 20 o 1 of 8 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o MATURE READERS Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Sean Murphy, Cover by Sean Murphy. Having an overactive imagination can get a kid through a lot, but it doesn't change the facts: Joe's still the kid in school that can't fit in. He's the victim of bullies. His dad died overseas in the Iraq war. And then there's the Type 1 diabetes he has to live with.So is it insulin-deprived delirium or something much, much bigger that transports Joe to a land inhabited by all his toys - from ninja commandos to action robots to magical knights to star fleet captains? Is Joe really the savior of this wild fantasyland that's been held under siege by dark magic and evil forces? With the help of a samurai rodent, is he ready to take back besieged castles and win the freedom of an oppressed people? Or is he just an over imaginative boy who could die if he doesn't take his meds?White-hot writer Grant Morrison follows up his phenomenal BATMAN AND ROBIN with an epic adventure that's Home Alone by way of Lord of the Rings accompanied with to-die-for art by future superstar Sean Murphy (YEAR ONE: BATMAN/SCARECROW, HELLBLAZER).
On sale January 20
1 of 8
32 pg, FC,
$2.99 US MATURE READERS


I have to say I truly enjoyed this book! Even though the solicitation reads $2.99 it is only ONE MEASLY DOLLAR! Get it before they reprint it at the original $2.99 price, which is what I'm betting they WILL do if they have to go back to press, or maybe they will make the reprint $1.99 like DC did previously with Unwritten #1. The basic concept of Joe the Barbarian, does have some similarity to indie-darling Stuff of Legend, but really it's only in the very loose sense. Joe's toys do come to life, sort of, in the insulin-deprived dreamland he finds himself, but this time we get to see Batman and other toys brought to life, since Vertigo is owned by DC Comics, which is pretty cool. I can't wait to read the rest of this mini-series. I'm sad that it's only 8 issues long, but I read somewhere that there is definitely a possibility for more stories to be told with other protagonists in other locales. Conceivably every house could have an inhabitant that could end up in another world. Joe's bedroom in his house is every child's dream bedroom. He lives in the attic , with high shelves of toys and cool stuff, the classic Sears brand twin size bed that is above a desk (you have to use a ladder to get to the bed, wasn't that every child's dream, lol), and you have to use a rope ladder to get to his room in the attic. How cool is that?
Morrison does not disappoint this time around, (Let's be honest here, does he ever disappoint? Not this fangirl, and all of you Final Crisis nay-sayers leave me alone, I liked FC!) and this is one of the first stories he has written that leaves me with a rather warm fuzzy feeling. Joe the Barbarian is a magical series with potential to become one of the years best graphic novels. Sean Murphy has blown me away with his beautiful artwork. Joe is the perfect vehicle to catapult Murphy to fame and fortune. Morrison and Murphy, the perfect combination for fantasy fans of all ages. This Vertigo mini doesn't seem to warrant the "mature readers" tag YET, but maybe it gets more bloody and dramatic as the series progresses. I could see the MR tag being used NOT for language and sexual situations this time around, but because it deals with such weighty mature issues, such as mortality. This series is bound to end in tragedy, but be that as it may, I can't wait for the enchanted journey to commence, whatever the ending may bring.

So there you go, I highly recommend you pick up JOE THE BARBARIAN #! for $1.00!
If you missed the title that I've mentioned over and over again it's JOE THE BARBARIAN.

4 comments:

  1. I've seen some complaints about the five-page silent sequence of Joe walking through his house, but I have to say that was my favorite part of the book. It was akin to the map of a fantastical realm you often find in fantasy novels, and which are so fun to pore over and return to throughout your reading of the work. Its almost certain that everything in that house, and little details such as where Joe left his backpack, will play into the remainder of the series in a major way.

    I also have to say, as much as I love Morrison, Murphy's art is what really makes the first issue pop. Story-wise its all set-up (promising, well-done set-up, but set-up nonetheless), but the art is spectacular. Great first issue and its almost unbelievable that's it only a dollar.

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  2. I enjoyed this book, but I have a feeling it'll read better in collection. Murphy's art was just beautiful and I'll definitely add him to my list of artists that I'll grab anything from.

    CBR threw up an absolutly awful review of the book, wherein the author complained that 5 pages without dialogue were a waste of the reader's time, apparently forgetting that comics are a visual medium.

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  3. Tom Tolios, Dimestore PsychologistJanuary 22, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Who the hell could possibly complain about comic books having parts without dialogue in this day and age?

    And I thought *I* was a chronic complainer!

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  4. omg this is such an awesome blog

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