Tag Archives: barbaric

Vault announces Barbaric: Born in Blood

Vault has announced that a new era of Barbaric is about to begin in a brand new series, Barbaric: Born In Blood, written by Michael Moreci, drawn by Nathan Gooden, colored by Fabi Marques, lettered by Jim Campbell, and designed by Tim Daniel

Worried Axe is going to find out you fell behind on a few issues? Scared to admit that despite all your friends raving about Barbaric for years, you still haven’t joined in on the fun? Rejoice! For Barbaric: Born in Blood begins the next season of Owen, Axe, and Soren’s tale. Yes, that’s right! We did it…the thing everyone says they’re doing, even when they’re lying through their teeth: a genuinely good jumping on point. How, you ask? Well, it all starts with a compelling new bad guy.

Meet Orrick, the tortured barbarian now turned master torturer, who will take us deep into Owen’s past, revealing secrets that should have stayed buried…like Axe in a chest cavity slurping up that sweet, delicious blood. Will the cursed-to-do-good barbarian finally do some actual good? Probably not! But some much worse guys will almost certainly lose their heads. Yummy!

Barbaric: Born in Blood will feature a line of stellar variants from superstar artists Corin HowellAdam CahoonEd LuceAngela Wu, and Patrick Gañas. Issue #1 will hit store shelves on February 14th, 2024.    

The Barbaric Universe expands in 2023! The year of Axe!

In 2023, Vault will launch The Year of Axe, a year long event that will dramatically expand the world of Barbaric  with two full new Barbaric arcs, the first ever Barbaric spin-off series, Queen of Swords, an oversized one-shot written with legendary fantasy author Nicholas Eames, and a new line of trade paperback Barbaric collections. The world of Barbaric will never be the same.

Here is the full Barbaric 2023 Year of Axe publishing plan: 

JANUARY 2023: BARBARIC: HELL TO PAY #1 – Now carrying the curse of Axe–who’s as bloodthirsty as ever–Soren works to find a way to get Owen out of hell, and runs into one of the barbarian’s old friends along the way. Meanwhile, Owen is trapped in the underworld–which may not turn out to be such a terrible place after all!

JANUARY 2023: BARBARIC TRADE PAPERBACK LINE LAUNCHES – The first two trade paperback collections of Barbaric drop on the same day as Barbaric: Hell to Pay #1!

MAY 2023: QUEEN OF SWORDS #1: A BARBARIC STORY – You asked for it, you got it! he BARBARIC universe expands with this explosive new series! Following the events of Hell To Pay, Ka, Deadheart–wielding Ganelon, which is now infused with the wretched spirit of Ga’Bar–and Serra form an uneasy alliance and journey to obtain a magical relic that’ll help kill the evil orc Gladius. But can Serra be trusted? And will Ga’Bar ever stop talking sh*t?

SEPTEMBER 2023: THE WRONG KIND OF RIGHTEOUS – From the mind of fantasy superstar writer Nicholas Eames with Michael Moreci comes a one-shot that dives into Owen’s and Axe’s past, chronicling the time they ran into another sentient weapon, a mace named Flail! But Flail is not at all what you’d expect of a talking weapon, nor is the psychotic paladin who wields him!

WINTER 2023L BARBARIC: BORN IN BLOOD #1 – After the game-changing fallout of Hell To Pay, Owen and Soren go on a quest to find the monster that can supposedly explain Owen’s curse–but he’ll have to travel through barbarian lands to get there!

Barbaric is co-created by writer Michael Moreci and artist Nathan Gooden. Among Vault’s best-selling series, Barbaric has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide and was named one of the best comics of 2021 by Entertainment Weekly, Thrillest, CBR, Comics Beat, & more. The story follows Owen, a bloodthirsty barbarian and his drunk axe as they roam an untamed, mythic realm battling supernatural cultists, hungry giants, creatures of the night, and more in their quest to somehow, amidst all this chaos, do some good.

Review: Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1

Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1

Owen is back with his maniacal axe in an all-new adventure with all new companions! Something is back from his past and Owen will set off with Soren and Steel to take on the evil orc warlord that has returned. Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1 is everything that made the first volume great with over the top action, some down to earth characters, and a lot of laughs.

Written by Michael Moreci, Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1 drops readers right into the action. Owen and his buddy Axe are taking on vampires in hopes of freeing their friend Steel from the vampire’s control. With Soren there to help, the battle is as chaotic as one would expect with laughs a plenty as Axe drinks the blood of vampires and lets us know what it thinks. The comic hasn’t missed a beat at all with an opening that’s just so over the top, it’s great.

Moreci also does a fantastic job of creating a comic that’s new reader friendly. The issue at hand is clearly laid out as well as the adventure to come. We get a sense about Owen for those new and his companions are explained as well. You can caught up easily and enjoy the ride as if you missed nothing at all.

The art by Nathan Gooden is fantastic. With color by Addison Duke and lettering by Jim Campbell, the comic is so over the top with the visuals. Blood and gore flow as Owen and the crew battle vampires and then a kraken and there’s also a good bar fight in-between. There’s nothing subtle about this comic and Gooden’s art just enhances that aspect of the story.

Barbaric: Axe to Grind #1 is another fantastic debut for the series and a must for fans of the first volume and fantasy fans. It both embraces and spoofs the barbarian questing genre and most importantly entertains with every detail.

Story: Michael Moreci Art: Nathan Gooden
Color: Addison Duke Letterer: Jim Campbell
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAW Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Review: Barbaric: The Harvest Blades

Barbaric: The Harvest Blades

One of my favorite recent series has been Barbaric. While I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy, it was a fun spin on the genre and tropes. Owen, the barbarian, is cursed to help anyone who asks for help. He’s also limited by who he can kill which is determined by his axe who only he can hear talk. He has found peace until a mysterious group comes to ask for his help. Barbaric: The Harvest Blades gets Owen back on an adventure and into a bloody battle.

Written by Michael Moreci, Barbaric: The Harvest Blades is a fun read. There’s nothing too deep about this one-shot. It has jokes, action, and monsters. There’s a lot of all three. And it does it all well. Owen and his axe continue to bicker. The reveals throughout the trip are interesting enough. It’s a comic that’s fun. It’s nothing earth shattering but it’s fun.

The entire concept really comes down to how much you enjoy a smartass axe that loves blood and a barbarian who loves money and sex. The first volume had some really interesting and smart things to say, but this one-shot just takes the concepts and rolls with it to have fun with the genre we’ve seen so much from.

The art by Robert Wilson IV is good. Wilson is joined by Addison Duke on color with an assist by Andrew Misisco and lettering by Jim Campbell. Like the story itself, the art is good. It’s not as strong as the first volume but when the battle begins there’s an almost comedic take by the art team as to how much blood they can splatter. The character designs are good but like the story itself, there’s nothing that really stands out to me and excites. It’s good though.

Barbaric: The Harvest Blades is a fun comic. It’s one you’ll enjoy reading but it’s also one I’m not going back to and reading over and over. It doesn’t feel like there’s some major impact beyond setting Owen on his next adventure. But, if this is what we get while we wait for each volume, I’ll take it. It expands Owen’s world a bit showing some of his past and adding in characters I hope to see more of. It takes what works from the first volume and ups the humor of it all for a nice result.

Story: Michael Moreci Art: Robert Wilson IV
Color: Addison Duke Letterer: Jim Campbell Color Assistant: Andrew Misisco
Story: 8.15 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus ComicsTFAWcomiXology/Kindle

Robert Wilson IV Joins Barbaric for Harvest Blades

Vault has announced that legendary artist Robert Wilson IV has come on board as artist for the Barbaric one-shot, Barbaric: The Harvest Blades

Robert Wilson IV is the co-creator and artist of Heartthrob with writer Christopher Sebela and colorist Nick Filardi. He also co-created Knuckleheads with Brian Winkeler and Like A Virus with Ken Lowery. Additionally, he was the artist for Bitch Planet #3. He is also active in the poster community making concert posters for bands such as Metallica, The Mountain Goats, Death from Above 1979, and The Sword, among others.

Barbaric: The Harvest Blades will hit store shelves on June 29th. It is written by Michael Moreci, drawn by Robert Wilson IV, colored by Addison Duke, lettered by Jim Campbell, and designed by Tim Daniel.

Like a punch in the privates, BARBARIC is back! Bloodier and more irreverent than ever. In this one-shot, Owen, the barbarian cursed to do good, is forced out of hiding and back to his old B.S.! A whole bunch of violence, ethically approved, of course, by his moral compass, the talking Axe! Find out for yourself why Entertainment Weekly, Thrillist, Screen Rant, and a whole bunch of other people called BARBARIC one of the best comics of 2021.

The first of many one-shots that further explore the world of Barbaric, whose second arc, Axe To Grind, arrives in July!

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2021 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

Much like 2021, It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Comics, and entertainment as a whole, continued to be an escape from the rough reality of the year that was. Things struggled to get back to normal, whether you think it was too soon or not.

Comics have been an escape for me as I myself remained holed up at home, forgoing movie theaters and generally the public as a whole.

To pick one that stood out above all the rest doesn’t quite feel right as there was so much that was fun and entertaining.

The comic industry continued to shift in massive ways as creators figured out new ways to become independent or were lured by the promise of big paydays by venture capital. Publishers got bought out and some struggled to stay open. Stores opened. Stores closed. Distribution continues to shift. The industry continues to be disrupted in many ways. Some ways for the better. Some for the worse.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and continued to look to go directly to the consumer. Publishers faced distribution issues as ports backedd up and printing issues as paper became scarce. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2021 continued to look bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before with many challenges ahead and many answers yet to come.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics but more manga for me).

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

The comics that had me excited in 2021 and have me excited for 2022. It turns out maybe I enjoy horror more than I know?

  • Barbaric (Vault Comics) – The series caught me off guard with a classic fantasy barbarian story with a twist. I don’t want to go into it too much but if you haven’t read this one, definitely check it out. I can’t wait for more to come.
  • Black Panther (Marvel) – John Ridley taking over Black Panther, nuff said. The series has grounded the character in political paranoia and assassination attempts on undercover agents.
  • Blue, Barry & Pancakes (First Second) – I’ve been loving the releases focused on kids and this series about a trio of friends is one I enjoy reading each release over and over with my daughter. They’re goofy fun.
  • BRZRKR (BOOM! Studios) – I’ll admit I went into this series rolling my eyes as it felt like a pitch for a movie/television series for Keanu Reeves. But, while the series has a lot of action its focus on its main character of B and what makes him tick has been a welcome surprise. It’s surprisingly deep and more about the character than the action.
  • Dark Ages (Marvel) – In a year with so many “alternate takes” on classic characters this one of a world where technology is nerfed and the heroes and villains must bring it together is an interesting one. Here’s hoping we get more of these stand-alone miniseries from Marvel as this works so well.
  • DC vs. Vampires (DC Comics) – The premise of vampires rising up and attacking the DC Universe sounds simple enough. But, the series so far has eschewed simple fights instead going for paranoia where you don’t know who is a vampire and who will get killed.
  • Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? (Albatross Funnybooks) – The true story about Eddie Gein is haunting with art that walks the line of crossing over to gross out levels.
  • Fear State (DC Comics) – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the start of James Tynion IV’s run on Batman but when “Fear State” got rolling things quickly shifted. The story was intense and did an amazing job of folding in “Future State” as well. Speaking of which…
  • Fist of the North Star (VIZ Media) – The classic manga is back and being reprinted in beautiful hardback versions as part of VIZ Signature. Yeah, it’s martial arts Mad Max but it’s so good.
  • Future State (DC Comics) – A two-month event that took us to a possible future DC, the comics were mostly great with the glimpses of the future being used when the series returned. It was a great use of an event to breathe new life into a line and drive the narrative for months to come.
  • Glamorella’s Daughter (Literati Press) – A fun series about the daughter of the world’s superhero that has such a great sense of itself with great humor and fun characters.
  • Impossible Jones (Scout Comics) – A blast in every way introducing us to a new world of superheroes and villains and leaves us wanting more.
  • Karate Survivor in Another World (Seven Seas) – In a year that felt like every other manga was about someone getting killed and reincarnated in another world with some hook, this one stood out. With a grounded premise, the story is about Nozaki Hitoshi who is sent to another world where his only skill is karate. But, there’s a twist that’s teased out and works so well.
  • Kraken Me Up (Holiday House Publishing) – In a year where I read lots of comics geared towards kids I loved the art in this one and it had such a cute story about a pet Kraken and the girl who loved it.
  • Maniac of New York (AfterShock) – I’m not a fan of horror films but this take on the slasher genre had me hooked as it felt like an homage to the genre and something all its own.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe (DC Comics) – John Ridley delivers a blunt history lesson about DC from the perspective of characters who rarely get the spotlight. Amazing art added to the enjoyment in what felt like a college course in comics.
  • Robin & Batman (DC Comics) – Dick Grayson’s early years as Robin is explored with beautiful artwork.
  • The Recount (Scout Comics) – Talk about a series that was too close to home. The series focused on a nation split due to a corrupt government and an uprising after the assassination of the President. Coming out around January 6 made the first issue hit even more.
  • Serial (Abstract Studio) – The series has gotten better and better with every issue with a serial killer at the center of it all. It’s really done an amazing job of serialized storytelling and has my on the edge of my seat more and more to see what happens next.
  • Shadow Doctor (AfterShock) – The true story about a African American Doctor who can’t get money to open a practice and has to turn to Al Capone for funding. The story is just a great mob story but the fact it’s true makes it all the more amazing.
  • Solo Leveling (Yen Press) – 2021 saw me getting more into manga and manhwa and this series saw three volumes released. It’s about a world where dungeon crawling is an actual profession and the world’s worst, who actually has something a bit special about him. It’s just a great mix of comics and video game nostalgia with solid art.
  • Stray Dogs (Image Comics) – The miniseries was a murder mystery from the perspective of dogs. Did their master kill their former owners? Will the dogs make it to safety? Mix in amazing art and this was a miniseries that had everyone talking.
  • Task Force Z (DC Comics) – Red Hood has to lead zombie versions of Batman villains in a Suicide Squad like team. The concept is silly but works so well with a focus on the ethical aspect of it all and an amazing team dynamic. Mr. Bloom? Really!?
  • Timeless #1 (Marvel) – When it comes to end of year one-shots, Timeless is the best Marvel has put out. Its focus on a character and a real focus on him as a person. There’s some solid teases of what’s to come but it’s the story of Kang front and center that’s the real draw. It might be a tease of what’s to come but beside that, it’s a good one-shot anyway.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar (Marvel) – The series shook up the character’s history in major ways and as a fan of Warhammer 40K I was all into it. It definitely pissed off “fans”, so bonus?
  • We Live (AfterShock) – The series has been an amazing apocalyptic adventure as kids attempt to make it to get to a ship to get off the planet. The series was a gut punch over and over and had me in tears.
  • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons #1 (DC Comics) – We just got one issue from Kelly Sue Deconnick and Phil Jimenez but this look at the history of the Amazons is amazing. The art was jaw dropping with the only flaw being the pages having a middle seam.
  • Yasmeen (Scout Comics) – The comic series about horrible events in Iraq and a young girl’s experience was an emotional punch with every issue. It shows the power of comics.

Review: Barbaric #3

Barbaric #3

Barbaric doesn’t wear out its welcome and wraps up its first arc in a speedy fashion. Michael Moreci, Nathan Gooden, and Addison Duke tell a fairly heartfelt fantasy story, but with buckets of blood, limbs flying, weird magic shit, and plenty of jokes. Barbaric #3 truly shows that this comic is a sword and sorcery tale without all the boring walking and exposition bits, all killer and no filler. The opening sequence is a bit talky with Soren struggling with the expansion of her magical abilities, but it provides an opportunity for our protagonist Owen to prove that he gives a shit and also poke fun at the concept of the afterlife. After that, it’s pages upon pages for Moreci, Gooden, and Duke to pile one-liners over riveting action scenes with heads flying and a color palette that won’t quit.

Although one of its main cast members is a bloodthirsty talking axe, Barbaric has a story of redemption and friendship at its core. Reading this book is almost like having dessert before dinner because you get the insanely kinetic double page spreads filled with weapons, blood, and bodies tumbling everywhere from Nathan Gooden, and then he and Michael Moreci slow it down and show that Owen genuinely cares for Soren and vice versa. Gooden takes a break from the big, splashy layouts to use more grids and close-up’s of their faces to capture the pain, disdain, and eventually camaraderie that they feel for each other. Barbaric #3 proves once and for all that Owen actually gives a shit about people and isn’t subject to the typical barbarian box of hating witches and magic and the supernatural even though he’d rather be hitting the magical people and objects. They make a good team in the end taking out weird cultists and even learning something new about themselves in the end.

Addison Duke’s color palette is not secretly one of my favorite parts of Barbaric. He shows off a range of tones with his choices this issue from dark despair to pink rage, red ultraviolence, and green decay as Owen’s snake demon foe shows himself in all his sickening Mayor Wilkins meets Shuma Gorath glory. However, Duke’s colors are what transform a great scene into one that’s truly memorable as he floods in golds and white in a page where Owen experiences a form of paradise that’s a little more sensual than the mainline Protestant conception of Heaven. It’s a gorgeous void and complements Nathan Gooden’s lightly inked line work as Owen realizes it’s all a ruse, and that he doesn’t deserve any kind of eternal reward and needs to get back to the raw red of reality and rescue his friend. All in all, the background colors that Addison Duke uses tell their own kind of story as the issue progresses.

Moreci, Gooden, and Duke definitely stick the landing in Barbaric #3 shooting for both big character and action beats while ending things on the jokey tone that has made this series so endearing. If you want a fantasy comic that isn’t full of shit and is self-aware, violent, and makes you deeply care about its (not so) golden trio, the three issues of Barbaric are worth seeking out.

Story: Michael Moreci Art: Nathan Gooden
Colors: Addison Duke Letters: Jim Campbell

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Vault provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

King Spawn #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Action Tank #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – A young boy wakes to find himself on the other side of the solar system. Sounds like an interesting start to this series aimed at young readers.

Amazing Fantasy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic with a fun start and amazing art. We’re hoping for more.

Barbaric #3 (Vault Comics) – The series has been fantastic and a great spin on classic fantasy stories featuring a certain barbarian.

Dancing Plague (Selfmadehero) – The true story of when hundreds of Strasbourg’s inhabitants were suddenly seized by the strange and unstoppable compulsion to dance.

Darkhawk #1 (Marvel) – An all-new Darkhawk? We’re intrigued.

Echolands #1 (Image Comics) – J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein deliver a mythic epic featuring cyborg elves, gods, retro rocket ships, and more! The art so far has looked amazing.

Icon & Rocket: Season One #2 (DC Comics/Milestone) – The first issue had a great feel about it delivering some hope at the end that has us looking forward to more.

King Spawn #1 (Image Comics) – Todd McFarlane has big plans for Spawn and that includes expanding the universe with new comics. How this series will differentiate itself from the main one is unknown but we’re intrigued to see.

Ninjak #2 (Valiant) Read our early exclusive review.

Suicide Jockeys #1 (Source Point Press) – After a catastrophic mission, the leader of a monster-fighting unit must pull the team back together.

Superman ’78 #1 (DC Comics) – We love this film and are hoping it delivers a magical experience like the movie.

Superman vs. Lobo #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – Lets face it, these two together has potential for some comedy.

Transformers: Shattered Glass #1 (IDW Publishing) – The highly anticipated “Mirror Universe” version of the Transformers is here!

Winter Guard #1 (Marvel) – With a spotlight in Black Widow, it’s always interesting to see what Marvel does as far as tie-ins.

Review: Barbaric #2

Owen the Barbarian is a horrible person before three witches curse him… to do good!? Barbaric #2 continues the self-aware adventure as Owen gets to know his new Necromancer partner.

Story: Michael Moreci
Art: Nathan Gooden
Color: Addison Duke
Letterer: Jim Campbell

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.


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Vault has released a surprise Barbaric #1 Foil Movie Poster Variant, Limited to 100 Copies

Vault Comics‘ sold out, smash-hit comic Barbaric is getting a hyper-limited edition variant cover featuring beautiful foil treatment printed on deluxe heavyweight paper. With cover art by series co-creator Nathan Gooden and design by Tim Daniel, this limited edition cover is a tribute to the poster for the classic 1982 film, Conan The Barbarian, which served, in part, as an inspiration for the hit comic book series. 

This very special variant is available only on the vault web storeThis limited edition of 100 copies will never be reprinted. Once they are sold out, they are gone forever.

The collectible cover ships from Vault, bagged and boarded, in a Gemini mailer. Grades are not guaranteed. Purchases will begin shipping during the week of August 2nd, 2021.

Barbaric is written by Michael Moreci, drawn by Nathan Gooden, colored by Addison Duke, lettered by Jim Campbell. The synopsis for Barbaric #1 can be read below: 

Owen the Barbarian has been cursed to do good with what remains of his life. His bloodthirsty weapon, Axe, has become his moral compass with a drinking problem. Together they wander the realm, foredoomed to help any who seek assistance. But there is one thing Owen hates more than a life with rules: Witches.

Welcome to the skull-cracking, blood-splattering, mayhem-loving comic brave enough to ask: How can a man sworn to do good do so much violence? Hah! F***ing with you. It’s just…BARBARIC.

Barbaric #1 Foil Movie Poster Variant
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