Review by: akamuu

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community think?

Avg Rating: 4.3
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Sean Murphy
Cover by Sean Murphy

Size: 32 pages
Price: 1.00

“Playtown burns from Teddy Bear Alley to Starbase Heights and the drains are choked with guts and stuffing.”

Whether or not you like Grant Morrison will hopefully be irrelevant here.  Joe The Barbarian looks to be a really intriguing coming of age story which may or may not (and there’s a couple panels on the back that lean heavily in favor of the “may” position) connect metatextually to his other works.  But maybe it won’t.  And maybe, even if it does, it won’t take away from the experience. 

While this is clearly Morrison’s project, he’s comfortable enough to let Sean Murphy’s art be the focus here.  There’s at least a panel on almost every page that has no text, just a dense sense of the loneliness of suburban adolescence.

What keeps this from being just another Vertigo coming of age story?  Well, uhhhh, to be fair, all of the Vertigo coming of age stories have had some sort of insane hook: American Virgin’s lead character was a world-renowned youth minister; Sweet Tooth’s protagonist is a hybrid child of the post-apocalypse.  This one…well, you should read it yourself, it’s one measley dollar, and it fits in really well with the new Vertigo Vanguard: Daytripper and Unwritten.

Again, put aside any pro or con feelings about Morrison.  Read this without expectations, and be prepared to get lost in this world, and probably reread it a couple of times.  Not because it’s insanely complicated and dense but because it’s such an engrossing story.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Awesome review.

  2. Thanks!

  3. 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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