Joe the Barbarian 8 (May 2011)

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Wow… it ends even worse than I could have possibly imagined. I like how in Morrison’s reality, a gang of roaming thugs (who bring a vicious dog with them to attack kids) are scared off by a woman in a crappy old car. I guess he needed that one to work for the ending to be as lame as possible.

Beautiful, beautiful art. Murphy maybe outdoes himself with this issue. It’s just fabulous.

Morrison has three or four endings to the comic, which is oversize, but he could have gotten away with one of them. The first one requires not only Joe, the kid, to be a complete inobservance moron but his mom too. And one has to believe his dead father is a trickster jerk who likes stringing people along.

I’m glad I read it for two reasons.

First, Murphy.

Second, I like having examples of awful Morrison writing.

CREDITS

Tomb of the Iron Knight; writer, Grant Morrison; artist, Sean Murphy; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Pornsak Pichetshote and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

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Joe the Barbarian 7 (November 2010)

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So, it’s been a little unclear—until now—how the present action unfolds in Joe the Barbarian. Since the kid is having a fit, it really shouldn’t matter if Morrison doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

But he finally does—the comic, running eight issues and costing about twenty bucks—takes place over about… eight minutes. Apparently, Morrison saw Inception and liked the way they figured dream-time so much, he adapted it for this one.

It’s hard to be serious about Joe the Barbarian because Morrison opens himself up for some many glib statements. It’s like The NeverEnding Story, if The NeverEnding Story sucked. I’m sure one can think of similar examples.

What’s most amusing about the issue—most of which is a battle scene—is how incapable Morrison is at writing war comics. He should have read some Ennis before attempting this one.

Still, great artwork.

CREDITS

Labyrinth of the Lost; writer, Grant Morrison; artist, Sean Murphy; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Pornsak Pichetshote and Karen Berger; publisher, Vertigo.

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