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Joe the Barbarian #2

Jonny’s Take:

While there isn’t much that actually happens in terms of furthering the plot, the second issue is still fast and fun. The main events that transpire are the inclusion of Joe’s pet rat Jack, or “Chaak” as he would prefer, into Joe’s fantasy world and the introduction of the villain. This is interesting because it may hint at where the book is heading. Grant Morrison may be writing a book about the death of childhood. If this is true, then there could be some interesting stuff in the series. If, however, this is just another Unwritten, Fables, Never Ending Story or Muppets Take Manhattan, then we might as well hit the snooze button. (It is very unlikely that Joe will be anything like Muppets, but you never know!)

Bottom line, there wasn’t much that happened in this issue, but second issues almost always kind of suck, don’t they?

Mike‘s Take:

I’m going to be honest – I’m a little dissapointed with how slowly this story is getting going. I think we all know what’s going on by now; Joe is having strange hallucinations, because of his low blood sugar and diabetes. Now, Morrison could be leading us down that path, and about to pull the rug out from under us, but so far, that’s all he’s implied.

But for me, the story isn’t where I’m hooked on this book. Sean Gordon Murphy‘s art is phenomenal. For those who follow him closely, they’ll have read that he’s been inspired a lot by Calvin and Hobbes artist, Bill Watterson. The long panels and vistas are actually very reminiscent of Watterson’s work on Calvin and Hobbes, but Murphy is taking them to the next level with his surrealist use of halftone and intense angles and shadows. This is a dark, brooding comic about a kid who may be dieing and suffering from insane hallucinations caused by a very serious disease. That is what has me coming back for issue #3.

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