Comic Books

JOE THE BARBARIAN #1 (OF 8)

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).

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

Price: $1.00
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 35.9%

Reviews

UserAddedSpoilers
ActualButt01/21/10NoRead Review
FraggleUprising01/20/10YesRead Review
TheNextChampion01/20/10NoRead Review
akamuu01/19/10NoRead Review
623
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Avg Rating: 4.3
 
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Comments

  1. It’s Morrison……at Vertigo……with a crazy idea.

    How could this not be the best thing ever?

  2. and you can get for the LOW LOW PRICE OF ONLY $1!!!!!!!

  3. Agreed

  4. I’m so sick of cheap comics, why can’t this just be $3.99.

  5. A buck! I am so getting this!

  6. ^Hahaha.

    I usually like Morrison but this series doesn’t really sound up my alley. But, then again, for only a buck…

  7. Morrison. Vertigo. 1$. And it even looks great.

  8. Wow, nice surprise. 

  9. let’s not forget sean murphy! i’ve been following this guy on deviantArt and his blog… and that dude can draw some awesome sht

  10. If the art is half as good as the cover, I’ll be happy indeed.

  11. This seems promising.  I’m in.

  12. Previews for this in recent Vertigo books indicate that this is going to be gorgeous. Count me in!

  13. I almost forgot this book – thanks for the reminder.  Even if it stinks up the joint, it’s a buck – I’m happy already.

  14. Sounds an awful lot like "The Stuff of Legend", but I guess that’s not a bad thing and it’s only a dollar.

  15. Very excited for this one. It looks really good. I only have a vague idea of what the story but the art looks fantatic.

    @TNC: You think Deadpool is the best thing ever, so, you know, differient strokes and all that

  16. Hip Hip Hooray!

  17. This sounds amazing!!! One of my most anticipated comics of the year!

  18. The premise sounds quite similar to that of I Kill Giants.

  19. Yay! Morrison.

    @Ruo21 Very true, but it’s also very similar to a short story Morrison and Quitely did for "Weird War Tales" back in the 90s.

  20. For only a buck I don’t understand how this isn’t the top pull of the week

  21. @Mrmister- I agree. This is easily the book I am most excited for this week, as well as the cheapest.

  22. I’ll wait for the trade 🙂

  23. So far this $1/#1 project is 2 for 3.  It made me blow a dollar on Greek Street, but saved me 4 on Unwritten/Sweet Tooth.  If it keeps at this rate and I never break even, I’ll buy them all.  

    I like Grant Morrison, but this doesn’t sound interesting.  But neither did Unwritten, so thank you $1/#1 promo.  It seems like an idea Image would be all over adopting, and they really need to.

  24. @mrmister-A lot of people are not fans of Grant Morrison. They will pick up his mainstream DC work because they feel they need to in order to follow certain storylines, but will stay far away from his other endeavors because they generally don’t like his writing style. I’m not one of those people. I love what he does and can’t wait to see what he has planned for this series.

  25. Morrison can be hit or miss but I liked Invisibles and his runs on Doom Patrol and New X-Men both make my top-10 runs of all time list.  Animal Man was so-so but I think had I read it as it was coming out I would’ve appreciated it more.

  26. raiding the penny jar as i type

  27. Morrison and Vertigo are made for each other.

  28. A perfect "Why Not?" book. If it doesn’t work, so what?

  29. I’m a huge Morrison fan, but I didn’t really care for the Invisibles, either. It had awesome ideas in it, but some people act like Invisibles (and other Vertigo work) represents THE Grant Morrison, and everything else is just fluff, comparatively. Maybe Morrison first laid out his "philosophy" or whatever with the Invisibles, but I don’t think it was all that…great.

    But I really think a lot of his superhero work (not JLA, though) is deeper and more innovative than his non-superhero stuff. I think We3 was cool, but not as interesting or even as thoughtful as All Star Superman. Doom Patrol was great, but I don’t think it holds a candle to his Batman work in terms of intricate plotting or big ideas. I think Morrison’s creativity works better when he can bounce it off of established properties and twist them…rather than just do original creator-owned stuff.

  30. Didn’t read his Batman run.  All-Star Superman was very, very good and I’m not a Superman fan.

  31. I have no idea what to expect here, but I love the suprise. Similar feeling to when I picked up Sweet Tooth for the first time.

  32. Aside from We3, I pretty much only like Morrison’s superhero works. I was on the fence about this, but leaning toward it because of the $1 price tag, but my comic shop is giving this issue away for free, which seals the deal for me.

  33. I really have no interest in this, but because of how many comics that have turned out to be delightful surprises (and the $1 price tag) I’ll give it a go.

  34. Currently at 100% Pick of the Week percentage!  Never seen that before, although it’s obviously very early in the day.

  35. This was a good start. I mean it’s the same old for Morrison. A straightforward beginning but then the end of the issue shows us something completely bizarre. I love how we’re going to see ‘homage’ to other things like Transformers and GI Joe.

    The art was really the thing to pick this issue up. Sean Murphy just killed it with this issue and I am going to find more of his work.

  36. ULTIMUS ALPHA

  37. I love the art. To-die-for.

  38. @TNC: i guess the comment at the top of the thread was a little premature than?

  39. @Ricky Stardust : Yep. Too early. At that time, I think Akamuu was the only one who had read the issue. I also assume that thi is his pick?

  40. i found santa claus in this issue!

     anywho, great 1st issue!

  41. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Loved this. Especially how quiet it is. No narration needed. Art’s absolutely gorgeous. 

  42. @edward: Well it’s 1 out of 8 issues mate. I can’t say after one issue it’s ‘the best thing ever’.

    I agree with Paul; it was a nice, quiet start. This was more of a showcase for Murphy’s talents and I’m sure Morrison’s story will be just as great and even wackier then this issue was.

  43. Fantastic.

  44. @TNC: you gave it 5 out of 5 for art and story so it must be the equal best thing ever! You can’t get higher than 100%!!

     

    p.s. i’m just busting ball, dude

  45. @edward: When it goes 6/5 then I will say it’s the best thing ever! 🙂

  46. @TNC-Your balls have been thoroughly busted.

  47. but.. but… 6 out of 5 doesn’t exist

  48. Wish I would have noticed this was a dollar, would have picked it up.

  49. The art was the definite highlight here. I felt it started a little too slow for me. I don’t mind a slow, quiet, start like this but not when i’m reading it in issues. this first issue will work better in trade in my opinion. that being said, this is morrison so it automatically gets a 5/5 in my book 😉

    but honestly, how about that art? fan-fucking-tastic!

  50. God the art in this is amazing. I cant wait to see what else we get from this story.

  51. I want to own that two page spread toward the beginning.  I’d crack into my savings for that thing.

  52. I thought it was meh. And the typo on the 3rd page annoyed me. *grumble grumble*

  53. My shop didn’t get any copies.  I am saddened.  I’m glad you guys are enjoying.

  54. NextChamp: "How can this not be the best thing ever?"

    NextChamp a while later: "I can’t say after one issue it’s the best thing ever"

    I lawled. 

  55. I -think- this was good.  I was really liking it up until that last two page spread.  I had to bump it down to 4 stars for that, I guess I just wanted something different.  

    I’ll get it next month, but if it keeps feeling so much like I Kill Giants, I think I’ll have to drop and wait for the trade.

  56. @deadspace: Yeah that typo did bug me a bit. It’s only the third page! lol

    A lot of people seem to be upset about this comic. Not so much here, but the sequence where Joe is walking to his house to his room…..Man people seem to be pissed how much that took. But I thought it was pretty obvious why Morrison framed the issue like that. Cause we’re going to be seeing the house as the enviroment in the fantasy world; and we’ll most likely see the house focused a lot in each issue.

  57. @nextchamp I understand the purpose and I’m not criticizing it, but those pages screamed "Wait for the trade" to me. In terms of monthly issues, it slowed things down too much for my liking

  58. I agree that this issue said "wait for the trade". It feels like it was written for that format, which makes sense since this is a mini. At this stage I’m not even sure I’ll be buying the trade though at all. The basic story doesn’t interest me much and I know it’s really early to say this but it doesn’t feel too original to me so far (a kid getting lost in fantasy to escape from tough reality). I Kill Giants already did that a million times better. I’m sure Morrison has something clever up his sleeve for this but I’m not feeling much from this opener. Sorry guys! I generously give this 3/5.

  59. What this was was….Well…

    How about the first 5-10mins of ‘The Neverending Story’?

    Cause we need to set up what the kid is like, who are his friends and enemies, what are the stakes. Then introduce the fantasy world that will be the dominate focus of the rest of the film. It’s like a film, this is just a more detailed introduction for a comic.

  60. Did South Park’s Imagination Land Trilogy spring to anyone’s mind?  That all I could think about after I saw Santa Claus.  Not to mention the line "Playtown Burns from Teddy Bear Alley to Starbase Heights. And the drains are choked with guts and stuffing." sounds like it should have been in the episodes.  Like Parker and Stone wrote it.

  61. Murphy should totally draw batman and robin. His versions in this are fucking awesome. And this totally seems like a dark version of toy story

  62. I don’t even know what the fuck I just read but it was frickin’ awesome!

  63. This is gonna take some rereading over coffee this weekend.

  64.  I want that jacket.

  65. I felt the book was okay, but I did not connect with the character immediately. The art was quite good all in all. It felt like this story is going to be a cross between ‘I Kill Giants’ and ‘The Imaginaries’.

  66. This was absolutely amazing, but definitely something that would read better in trade. It’s going to be really frickin difficult to hold off buying it next month. This could be the book of 2010, it oozes quality.

  67. Dude, spoiler that shit. Not everyone wants to know the plot of the series. :/

  68. Spoiler deleted. Thanks for ruining it for everyone who read your comment.

  69. yeah! spoiler boy! why don’t you go spoil your face!

    p.s. i didn’t actually see any spoilers so i’m cool with it

  70. Well, it wasn’t too bad. It’s not going to be a ‘big twist’ or anything, but it was definitely something that wasn’t particularly self evident, and will gradually dawn over the next few issues. 

  71. I said before I read it that it sounded like a mix of I Kill Giants and The Stuff of Legend and after I read it I still think its a lot like those two books.  But that’s not a bad thing.  This book was gorgeous, but about 200 of you have already pointed that out.  

    I identified more with Joe than perhaps I care to admit.  I can’t ignore that as a possibility to why I enjoyed this issue so much. A whole lot of toys, a sketch pad always close by and would rather live anywhere but the real world.

  72. I really enjoyed this issue and I absolutely loved the art. The style reminded me of R.M. Guerra on Scalped. Murphy added clutter to scenes as well as payed attention to the environment instead of just the characters, To be honest I probably enjoyed the art more than the story. The story seems like it could be interesting, it just wasn’t as enthralling as I expected it to be.

    Also aren’t spoilers common on these boards. I can’t remember them being a problem before and I don’t recall any major twists in this issue that even could be spoiled.

  73. Did anyone notice the fingerprints on the stairs of page 11. On this page Joe is ascending the staircase and their are fingerprints on the wall, wondering if this is an art choice, or is Joe a toy in a miniature house? I actually didn’t notice these on my first read through, but my girlfriend did… it really got my mind running about what they could be. Then again it’s probably just an art decision.

  74. It’s funny. Morrison basically has given several interviews and balantly told exactly what happens in the comic. Like the exact ending of the comic itself.

    Weird…

  75. @TNC- Has the man ever talked about what he thinks is more important: story, writing, or characterization? He seems like a man who really cherishes a good story, but I could be wrong if he’s letting loose things like that.

  76. @TNC – I can’t believe I’m telling you this but, Thanks.   Thanks for the anit-spoiler.  I loved this issue and now I know to not go anywhere near a Grant Morrison interview.  Again, thanks.

  77. nothing happened in this issue that warrented a spoiler. what’s wrong with you people?

  78. Dave Stewart’s coloring is phenomenal.  I love the vibrant fantasy world juxtaposed with the milder reality.  The art overall made me enjoy this a lot.

  79. @DarthDuck/Ruo21: I don’t know why he would say it during the interviews. I mean I read the CBR interview about the book itself and he balantly said what the ending was and what the overall moral of the story was.

    He’s never done that before…..Guess he feels that it’s pretty self explanatory when you read this issue. But to be honest the spoiler didn’t ruining anything about this book for me.

  80. Now I wanna know what the suppose spoiler was??? Cause if you read the solicit and the preview you pretty much know everything thats happening in this comic.

  81. Like you do for most #1 of any mini.

  82. Was the spoiler?:

    "His dad died overseas in the Iraq war."

     Because that’s the only thing I can think of and it’s in the promo at the top of the page.

     

  83. I love the art.  I felt like I was reading a prologue or a #0 issue instead of a full first issue.  I prefer to see stories progress further than this in single monthly issues.  Hopefully it will next month…otherwise I’ll just have to drop it and maybe wait for the trade.

  84. If you liked issue 1 of Joe the Barbarian, check out our interview with artist, Sean Murphy at nearmintcomicshow.com

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