Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.3
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Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Sean Murphy
Cover by Sean Murphy

Size: 32 pages
Price: 1.00

There are things that will always be now and forever:

Seasons Change

War is all around us

Grant Morrison writes new comics.

They always happen every year and most of the time we deal with it. This time, Morrison brings us a Vertigo comic (mini really) with a more straightforward idea by him. Mind you anything normal by Morrison is just insane by most standards.

Most of this issue is just introducing us the premise of what the next seven issues will be. A kid, who is a diabetic, is having a crappy life. His dad is dead, he has troubles in school, and the house he lives in will most likely foreclose leaving him homeless. One day he forgets to take his insulin and for a brief moment; he (and essentially the reader) sees the imaginary world he will be apart of.

When I say a ‘brief moment’ I do mean quite brief. Cause again most of this issue is just setting up what we’re going to witness in the future. I can tell you that Sean Murphy has a lot of tinkering to do with all of the characters. There are a lot of ‘homage’ to real world cartoons, toys, and characters from movies in this. It’s not Optimus Prime or Snake Eyes, but it’s damn well close. The stuff in the beginning with Joe, I must admit, is a bit generic. Cause we have all seen or read a tale where the quiet boy in school gets picked on. But once we get into the home of Joe, that’s where the magic beings.

This is more of a tour de force in the art department by Sean Murphy. I’ve never read a comic with his artwork before but I want to find more of his work. He has this weird style of realism but it still looks incredibly cartoony. Like the characters have realistic faces, but there are some lines on the page to make them still a bit unearthly. The page where Joe is at the cemetary; up close the scene looks so realistic but as you look deeper into the plain of view it is so simple. Great detail in the skyline, how most artists should do it. Then we have the whole sequence where Joe gets off the bus, into his house, and into his room. Just a great, silent series of panels to showcase the house. Cause obviously he shows us that one of the main characters will be the house itself. We’ll most likely see these rooms in the future and they will be huge factors in the future issues.

By the time I reached the final page I knew I was going to love this mini. There are so many homage characters and a great use of imagination that Morrison is totally going to blow our minds again. Granted I am a huge fan of Morrison to begin with; but this quick little read is just a small taste of the craziness that he will bring us later in the year. I cannot wait to see where he takes this small kid into his own imagination.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. If you’re enjoying Joe the Barbarian, check out the in-depth interview we did with Sean 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:

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