This week I did not have time to do any good full blown reviews for Wednesday night so this Friday I wanted to get up some mini-reviews of some books.
Joe The Barbarian #1 (of 8) – This maybe the best book of the week. Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy have a great start to this series. Lately my passion has been turned to just stories. I’m not concerned if it contains the unreal or super power or not, what I find most intrigues me are good stories. Joe the Barbarian was one hell of a bargain for $1. In this issue we meet Joe who is a young man in high school who does not fit in with the rest of the crowd. He is a loner, his father died in a war, he is somewhat nerdish, he is picked on by the school bullies, he is an artist, he is often lost in a fantasy world and he is diabetic. This issue we see him taken to school by his Mom, go on a field trip, get picked on by the school thugs, has a girl who wants to befriend him, go home and look in on his pet rat and appears to be falling into a diabetic coma and falling in and out of a world where all his toys and action figures are alive and in danger. Is it a diabetic coma fantasy or is it “real”? Time will tell us, but I want to come back and see. I was not like Joe, but I can feel for Joe from page one and by the end of the story I’m hoping Joe is not dying and I also want to know what danger are the toys running from. Part Fables, part Stuff of Legend, part Essex County, all Grant Morrison telling a simply captivating tale of a young man and inviting us into this moment of his life. Sean Murphy’s art is stunning. He has a realistic style, but a wonderful sense of story telling. His panel layouts are innovative, yet clean and simple to follow. Joe’s house and room of toys is a wonder to behold filled with details that make you linger over each page. His ability to convey emotions is excellent. This is a perfect marriage of words and images and looks to be another hit from Vertigo and one of Grant’s best stories.
Green Lantern Corps #44 – The planet lantern Mogo shows up at OA and saves the day. Mogo purges the Black Lantern’s from OA and manages to destroy them by absorbing them into his core and will burn them for all eternity. Apparently the Guardians had given Mogo a Primacy Directive in case of such a dire emergency. Unfortunately Guy is still consumed by the red ring and Kyle and company are going to try and save him before Guy kills them. This book has great writing and great art, one of DC’s best series.
Cowboy Ninja Viking #3 – Remember how I said that I more attracted to great stories lately, well this is an exception to that generality. CNV is a story that I’m not worried about following all the details with it because it is a convoluted crazy mess, but boy is this book fun. I mean with AJ’s dialogue; such as Duncan saying “and yes after shootin’ baddies, I like getting’ my dingle dangled”, well who doesn’t. Add into that we have more triplets introduced and the tragedy of San Cristobal will apparently be revealed next issue. The artwork is amazing as Riley uses the full canvas of the Golden Age format to it best purpose. The action is unbelievable, the art is great and the dialogue and characters are outrageous good fun. I’m sure there is a plot in here somewhere, but I’m not sitting here reading this book pondering some small plot point I just strap on my seatbelt and hit the gas and let AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo give me a thrill ride on their crazy highway.
Come back Tuesday and see if any of these books made the final cut.