Early Review: The Mighty Barbarians #1 gathers warriors from across reality to save existence
When an unstoppable force starts consuming one world after another, sorceress Morgan Le Fey uses her magic to assemble a team of skull-cracking warriors who must somehow work together to save all of existence. There’s the young trickster Anansi, Viking shield maiden Birka, the shape shifting Nanook, and their leader, heir to a fallen kingdom and mightiest of warriors, KULL! The Mighty Barbarians #1 kicks off an uneasy alliance to take on a mutual enemy and leave a path of ruin through everything that stands in their way to do so.
Writer Michael Moreci is one of those creators whose projects I want to check out when I see their name on them. Moreci’s Barbaric, published by Vault Comics, has taken the sword and sorcery genre and infused it with a lot of new and interesting elements that has made the series stand out. So, going into The Mighty Barbarians #1, I was intrigued to see what Moreci might do with another sword and sorcery fantasy series and how it’d be different. The answer is simple, by playing it relatively straight.
The Mighty Barbarians #1 has existence being threatened by the Aleph forcing Morgan Le Fey to travel across worlds and recruit a team to stop them and save existence. Moreci in the setup has taken a concept and opening that feels like it’d be quite at home in any of the superhero team comics by the big two. It’s a start that’s familiar, we’ve seen so many times. The difference is the fantasy setting and characters that have been established on their own through their various publishing/storied histories. The team brings together characters and personalities we might have not seen interact before setting up a very intriguing and entertaining potential.
At it’s heart, the story feels like a traditional superhero comic in concept, with a fantasy setting. Scenes feel right at home in the Avengers or Justice League and you could see those characters replacing these easily. Hell, with “snake men” being the villains, it feels like a side companion to the recent Savage Avengers run. But what’s interesting is how Moreci makes the comic different from all of those and Barbaric. Despite the setup and imagery, the comic plays things rather straight. There’s little comedy. There’s little jokes. It feels like a fantasy comic in every way. Unlike Barbaric which pokes fun at tropes and norms of the genre, The Mighty Barbarians #1 feels like it leans into them a little, though doesn’t play them up. This is a team fantasy adventure so far, no more, no less.
The art by Giuseppe Cafaro fits the feel Moreci goes for perfectly. The character designs have both a fantasy feel but also a little bit of a “superhero” vibe to it all. The images are full of excitement and energy as the team is assembled and the short segments of battle introduces us to each member. Like the tone of the comic itself, the look has more in common with the Avengers than it does with Conan. That’s not a bad thing as it helps deliver a pop of a start that’s energetic and makes the comic stand out a bit.
The Mighty Barbarians #1 is a fun start. It takes the traditional fantasy adventure and mixes it with a more modern sense and style. While the comic itself doesn’t blaze any really new paths, it does deliver an entertaining start that fans of the characters or fantasy adventure will want to check out.
Story: Michael Moreci Art: Giuseppe Cafaro
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy
Ablaze provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review