Comic Books


Formless Deathcoats, Dwarf Pirate Submariners, a Rodent Yojimbo – the wildest imaginings of a young boy become all too real in this breakout epic from superstar writer Grant Morrison and rising talent Sean Murphy. Fantasy and reality, death and life, collide in this new must-read series.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by Sean Murphy

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 8.8%


TheNextChampion03/03/10NoRead Review
petevaldez02/17/10NoRead Review
akamuu02/16/10NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.2
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. Time to see how batshit crazy this will get. With Morrison at the helm, it shouldn’t take long to find out.

  2. It’ll take me a bit longer to find out as I’m holding out for the trade if it ends up being good. #1 didn’t do much for me unfortunately.

  3. @deadspace: I have a feeling you have made a most unwise decision…..most unwise. *pets cat*

  4. I loved the first issue.  I wasn’t able to read this the week it came out, but when I did? I went back to that weeks pull list and changed it to my pick of the week.  Fantastic coming of age book.

  5. Even though they sold out the chick at the comic store gave me her copy of issue one. yup, she digs me.

    poor thing, can’t help

  6. I felt like I had heard the story being told in issue #1 before.  I hope this issue sets the series apart.

  7. Where did you hear it before? Cause I would check that out.

  8. @uspunx I think he may be referring to it being simply a familiar theme

  9. I don’t know if it’s what AlanRob is referring to but this, so far, has been pretty similar to The Stuff of Legend.  And yeah, check that out.

  10. Any story where a child enters a metaphorically magical land is pretty similar.

     Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, pan’s Labyrinth, The Never Ending Story, The Wonderful Land of Oz 

  11. well said

  12. Can’t wait!!!

  13. dropped.

    Financial reasons. Now tell me this is a bad decision.

  14. I haven’t been this excited for an issue in a long time.

  15. I hope this issue is of the same level of quality a issue 1. This has the potential to be an awesome and memorable story like WE3 of go completely off the rails into batshit crazy land like Sea Guy

  16. Sure, it looks like a familiar theme, but the art is gorgeous. So even IF it ends up to be a story about a kid in a fantasy dream world, as long as Morrison gives Murphy some crazy shit to draw, I am more than fine with it.

    Basically nothing happend in #1, but I could stare at those pages of Joe walking through the house forever. 

  17. @TNC – one way or another, if the story is good, i’ll end up reading it. i’m just not excited about it enough to stick with single issues. 

  18. Loved Issue 1. It looks like they raided my Action Figure box for this issue: Transformers, He-Man, First Contact Captain Picard!  Can’t wait for this (even though, I probably will have to!)
    @USPunx, Morrison and Quietly did a similar story (in short form) in Vertigo’s WEIRD WAR TALES miniseries from… geez, 12 years ago, I think. It has a similar premise, though the toys come to life and not just in the child’s head. It’s a fun little story, too.
  19. am i the only one that really likes when Morrison goes "bat-shit" crazy? i loved the Filth and the Invisibles. Awesome books.

  20. ^I liked the Filth quite a bit. Invisibles has a lot of neat ideas, but I felt that it was Morrison being too young, sure of himself and impressed with himself. I don’t dislike the Invisibles, but I definitely don’t think it’s the equal of a Sandman or even a Preacher.

    Yeah, issue one of this felt pretty hackneyed to me. I’ve seen this story a million times before, and I’m not ten years old anymore. The art is nice, but there’s nice art all over the place these days. Maybe the first issue was supposed to be a quick routine set-up, but Morrison has a long ways to go to impress me on this.

    But, being a pessimist, I feel like most people will continue to love this series as long as Morrison doesn’t take any risks, keeps the ideas familiar and uses few words.

  21. Fans of this genre should check out Joe Kelly’s I Kill Giants.  Simply spectacular.

  22. @Edward i thought the filth was brilliant but I couldn’t tell you what happened or what it was about. I remember finishing the trade and saying to myself ‘wow the was amazing…now what the fuck did i just read!?’

  23. ambiguity isn’t a bad thing. remember watching Donnie Darko for the first time?

  24. @edward: I’m on my 99th viewing and I still don’t get it.

  25. Exactly!

  26. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately the first thing that sprang to mind was the South Park Imagination Land Trilogy particularly with the lines "Playtown burns from Teddy Bear Alley to Starbase Heights. And the drains are choked with guts and stuffing." I can just hear Aslan saying that to Butters. 🙂

     And for the record I tend to like it when Morrison goes "bat-shit" crazy. 

  27. @edward and tnc the directors cut helped me clarify most of my questions.

  28. If you’re enjoying the new Vertigo series, Joe the Barbarian by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy, check out the in-depth interview we did with Sean Last on the Near Mint Comic Show. It’s a great conversation with lots of insight on the series and Sean’s creative process.

    Check it out at:

  29. This book is positively overflowing with ideas and style, but it is also overflowing with incoherence.  I fully expect to love this series by the time I figure it out.

  30. Yeah, this issue wasn’t perfect. It was a lot of stuff going on and as amazing as Murphy’s art is, I think it hurt the issue at parts. I can see quite a lot of people being confused by certain scenes. Still, I always enjoy what Morrison does.

  31. I was pretty let down by this.  Obviously, its early as hell in the story, but to me this is a 3/5 book at best. 

  32. I loved this issue. There a few bumps in it, but I have a feeling this will read better as a whole-day read. Murphy’s art didn’t stand as much this issue, either. But I still loved it. 5/5 and my POTW.

    Also… I want a Patrick Stewart action figure to come to life and give me a phaser! 

  33. Another fantastic issue imo. I think one of the things that makes it work so well, for me, is the hazy incoherence. The story is no doubt going to be relatively straight forward in the end, but I don’t often see this trippy ambiguity in the comics I read. I will certainly be watching Sean Murphy in the future.

  34. Now, this story I havent heard before!  We have kicked it into high gear with issue #2. Bat shit crazy is inching closer…   5/5

  35. I really enjoyed it but can shake the idea that trying to figure it out will be better than finding out.

    Murphy is amazing.

  36. good read. by far the most interesting comic this month. not really sure where the story is heading

  37. This was amaZing. I felt tense the whole time. It’s very stressful becuase Morrison and Murphy keep showing little glimpes of the real world surrounded by this outlandish setting. It gives it a frantic pace that is servicing the story really well

  38. I’m loving this book.  Just read the first two issues back to back and I’m amazed at how well the story has been able to show what it’s like for a diabetic having a hypo.  I’m a diabetic myself and I can totally see what Morrison and Murphy are going for here.

    Obviously there is a lot of dramatic licence here and I’m in now way saying every hypo is like the one shown in this book but it is true that things become very very strange when you are suffering a hypo.  I remember I had one at work and ended up pouring a can of diet coke over a co-worker and running into a vending machine in the cafe.  No joke.  No idea why i did it but hypo’s do strange things to your mind.

    I’ve never seen a hypoglycemic state shown in a comic before so this is fascinating to me. Can’t wait for the next issue! 

  39. Also the artwork is beautiful!

  40. WTF is going on? Is this entirely a boy’s imagination?

  41. @s1lentslayer- That’s sort of what the point of the story is; to find out if it’s real or all in his head

Leave a Comment