Joe the Barbarian
Artist: Sean Murphy
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
When I pick up anything written by Grant Morrison I expect that this man is really going to make me think, and piece not only far spread dialogue together but, also ensuring you really take in each panel on the way. Joe the Barbarian is no exception, I would have continued down the path of reviewing issue by issue but, in doing so I may give away too many unwanted spoilers, or ramble on about plot points I think will have major impact in issues to come. So instead, here they are as a whole:
Joe is a diabetic teenager who throughout this story is literally in a fight against reality and time, all because some idiotic school-mates decided to eat his candy. Joe’s blood sugar is dropping, creating wild hallucinations of his favourite action figures coming to life, his pet rat turning into and incredible creature of fantasy, and even some classmates make an appearance to try and help Joe on his way.
Through what you might ask?
Well in short, Joe is the Dying Boy – who was to appear in “Hypogea” (This hallucinated world) during the war against King Death, he is the only one who can stop the king in his quest to take over. It isn’t until issue #5 where I really started to piece what was happening in this story together. There are tons of tiny consistencies and hints to what could be the resulting action in the war against King Death. Will Queen Bree reunite with her loving husband the Iron Knight? Is Joe able to stand and conquer or will King Death take over and burn out any light left, dooming Joe to death?
Although I’m sure Grant had a good portion in creating this world I can’t yet but keep wanting to give credit to Sean Murphy for creating these characters the way he did. Everyone is needed in this journey, and everything from fear to happiness can be portrayed just through the eyes of each character. Also, this story has some of the best 2 page spreads I’ve seen in a long time. One of my favourites being Joe’s bedroom, I could look through this page for hours spotting things I may have missed.
I’m giving this issue 10 stolen candies out of 10, the only flaw being that I wish this could be a longer story. I got lost in this world and would have loved for it to have continued but, sadly all great things must come to an end. I would recommend just about everyone to grab this series, it’s fantasy for any age group and will melt the hearts of all!
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