Comic Books


Who are the mysterious Sorcerors of Inventoria, and why have they taken a vow of cowardice? The mysteries of the Iron Kingdom and its relationship to Joe’s real world are revealed at last, and a new companion joins the doomed fellowship for a voyage into Ultimate Darkness.

Art and cover by SEAN MURPHY

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.8%


TheNextChampion04/21/10NoRead Review
akamuu04/20/10NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.1
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. Love that cover. Definitely makes you feel like you’re a kid reading a fantasy story.

  2. It reminds me of "The Littles" cartoon.

  3. This comic book is a perfect argument for hanving national healthcare.

  4. pffvvfffft.

  5. @AmirCat-What???

    Always a great read. Such a fun book.

  6. @Drakedangerz – nothing. Just goofing around. This is a great read and amazing art. I think I am going to wait for the trade though. I hope it will be in a Delux HC.

  7. This book has been great… 

  8. My favorite book in print right now. I get so excited when its on the comics page!

  9. I dropped this and the guy at my store told me I’m the first person to dislike it.  I tried to like it, and I loved Grant Morrison’s Seaguy, but this just didn’t grab me.  I don’t really like the murky art.  But I have plenty of other books to read instead.

  10. Yeah, it is very similar to a Jim Henson movie from the 80s… you know, before he died a painful death from an aggressive bacterial infection

  11. So excited for this. Vertigo is really putting out some gems after a few years of middling after Y: The Last Man. Between this, Sweet Tooth, Daytripper and Unwritten it’s a great time for V.

  12. @PraxJarvin I think Y was the book that finally showed creators they had a place to tell the stories they want. Unfortunate it took that long but now they really are rolling with those titles and so many more. 

  13. This is why I think Vertigo should be considered a seperate publisher. I mean we like to say it is, but it is a DC line technically.

    I say Vertigo should move out to greener pastures. Or at least go the IDW route.

  14. @TNC: why would a company with the finanical backing of Time/Warner want to move on to "greener pastures"

    Why would time/warner let them go?

    Seriously, that makes no sense

  15. Normally i would agree with TNC just do to the fact that in any industry (movies, books, comics, video games) breaking away from major corporations allows creativity to reach a higher standard without anyone changing it along the way. But with Vertigo its different or at least seems different. Like @Edward said they have major backing from time/warner and im sure that helps some of the slow starting books develop. And as of yet it hasnt hindered the writers to the extent of creating some amazing books. 

  16. @rift Even before Vertigo was Vertigo it was that place for creators to approach a book *their* way. I mean, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Morrison’s Animal Man & Doom Patrol, Grell’s Green Arrow and Gaiman’s Sandman are all their own thing with licensed characters. And of course there’s Ennis/Dillon’s Preacher. While Y The Last Man was probably the pinnacle of "Modern" (I don’t like saying that) Vertigo books, between its end – and Lucifier too – and this recent spat of great new books, the only book carrying the line was Fables. But you are right that Y was really the book that pushed Vertigo passed the Licensed Character step for the its "big books" and more into the creators/talent/what have you.

    @TNC Vertigo is a separate arm of DC Entertainment, and is on the whole bigger than just being an imprint, but it’s dependent on DC. To say it should breakway is just silly. You say this all the time, but don’t really understand the underpinnings of how/why the Vertigo line was created, the purpose it serves for DC or that it generates a lot of revenue for DC/Time Warner’s book distribution channel (This is why they can take the hit on first Vertigo trades being $9.99.) As well, IDW is able to put out a lot of great, solid, original work now because their licensed property comics make IDW a lot of money. IDW’s model is actually the same as early Dark Horse. You wouldn’t have the Dark Horse you have today if it wasn’t for Alien, Predator and Star Wars comics. IDW wouldn’t be in the same place it is (Essentially the 5th Major Publishing House in the industry) without its myraid (and ever growing) list of media tie-in comics: Star Trek, GI Joe, Transformers, etc. etc. Vertigo (as are all of them) is able to parlay poor sales of a critically acclaimed book by being in the same revenue pool as the DC properties.

    And as popular as Vertigo books are among fans and the users of this site, they rarely break the Top 20 on Diamonds list.

  17. @PraxJarvin No years of middling from my point of view. DMZ is great, and so was Exterminators

  18. @PraxJarvin Your right about the drop off after Y. A lot of that comes from personal experience as well. Being slightly newer to comics, I haven’t read Swamp Thing, Animal Man or Green Arrow which makes it hard to relate. My first foray into Vertigo was Y, followed by Preacher,Scalped and DMZ. All were great but you could tell the difference between say Y and DMZ. Walking into the shop, people were talking about Y all the time while the other books kind of fell off after reading. 

  19. I really want to hear TNC’s response to this topic of debate. Seeing as how he started it by mentioning something ridiculous

    Well, TNC?

  20. Fun Question: Ten years from now how many of today’s Vertigo (ongoing) offerings will be on everyone’s top 25 runs of all time list? 

    I think Fables and Scalped make the cut right now.  And I think Unwritten and Sweet Tooth have potential but as they’ve both been around less than a year it’s still too early to tell.  (As much as I have a soft spot for House of Mystery and like American Vampire I’m not sure they’re destined for stardom).

    Also as for the aformentioned debate Vertigo does decently in trades but in terms of issues the top selling Vertigo book – Fables – sells less than 20,000 copies through Diamond a month and they are the exception.  Most sell between 5,000 and 12,000.  Very tough to build an independent company like this with no licensed properties, a high level of production quality and low sales.

  21. @Kmob181: For me, i would say only Sweet Tooth has a chance to be one of my favourites. partically, because the title is still new. I could see Fables be a lot of people’s list because of the wealth of material there… if you like that kind of thing…. which i don’t 

    Other than that, i think vertigo produces a lot of really disposable stuff. Just think about all the Sandamn tie-ins they used to publish. 


    Also, TNC, still waiting brother.

  22. Dammit, DC.  Stop screwing up the placement of word balloons like the one on page 7 of this issue!

  23. Great issue as always, Murphy’s art is only getting better. Glad this issue focused more on the switching of realities. The last issue kinda lacked that.

    Still too much of a slow burn, but I am dedicated to see this wonderful fantasy continue.

  24. yeah, yeah, but what about vertigo, TNC?

    Should they move on to greener pastures? i’m sure they would be much happier as an independent publisher like IDW or BOOM, right? That’s your logic


  25. @edward: I still think so, but Prax made it pretty clear why logically it can’t happen.

    He’s right, the books sell well but not that well. Probably safer if they stick with DC…..for now. 

  26. Man that answer was so anticlimatic…

  27. If you give all the Sorcerors of Inventoria a foppish voice while reading this, the book is hilarious. Also, give the main guy Zodak the voice of John Cleese and this becomes the best comic ever.

  28. I read every comic with the cast of Monty Python doing voice-overs. Watchmen was hilarious.

  29. @drake: Damn I should’ve thought of that. Cleese is perfect for that role.

    I did like that line…..I don’t have the comic in front of me but….It was like:

    "Quick! Just should how weak you are! They will walk away in disgust in no time". Something like that….that made me laugh. 

  30. @edward – yup that’s a good guess.  funny, right after posting i dropped american vampire and house of mystery so in terms of vertigo im down to just fables, scalped, sweet tooth and unwritten.

  31. I’m content with Vertigo right where they are, as long as they keep putting out the quality of work they do. People who aren’t reading Northlanders are doing themselves a great disservice.

  32. i thought this was one of the weaker issues, putting it at 4 stars, but i still loved it. Cant wait to get to the queens hearth and find out about the silver legion!

  33. I feel like every issue of Joe the Barbarian should end with the "Lost" logo floating into darkness..gorgeous book but I haven’t got a clue

  34. @erockus-What don’t you have a clue about? This is easily some of Morrison’s most accessible work outside of Batman.

  35. I should add, I meant most accessible recent work.

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