When the first issue is so good, there’s no way the second can be as well, right? Barbaric #2 delivers the goods with a fantastic second issue full of action, laughs, and adds depth to its world. Barbaric is the story of Owen the Barbarian who is cursed to do what’s right. That at times can be difficult to figure out. So, he has Axe, a blood-thirsty… axe, to guide him as to what to do. Along comes Soren, a necromancer who Owen saves and then winds up teaming up with for a quest.
Written by Michael Moreci, Barbaric #2 has such brilliance to it that it’s hard to describe. On its surface, the comic and series as a whole is a classic fantasy quest. There’s a barbarian and a necromancer who must team up and defeat an even worse evil. It’s a concept we’ve seen so many times before. But, it’s the details that Moreci includes that makes the comic stand out.
While the setting might be a fantasy quest, the concept is more buddy-cop comedy. Owen and Soren don’t get along and mix in the sarcastic Axe, you have a duo (fine trio) that would fit into modern cop schtick. Then, there’s the subtle comments that take a rather progressive viewpoint and place them in a rather regressive world. But, even that’s done in a twisted way as Owen is forced into this role. He was a horrible human being and his curse is to do good. Guided by a blood-thirsty axe, this is a barbarian who’s struggling with his nature and inclination to do what he wants.
Barbaric #2 delivers some depth on these two, mainly focusing on Soren’s story. We find out about her powers and her history but the issue dances around Owen’s axe’s story as well. Even with all of that, the issue moves things along quite briskly putting the duo into the type of battle and dungeon crawling you’d expect from the genre.
Moreci’s fantastic story is helped by Nathan Gooden‘s art. With Addison Duke‘s color and Jim Campbell‘s lettering, the images and dialogue pops on the page. There’s such personality with each character. The art shows off such subtle aspects that are told through the body language and facial expressions of the characters. The story wouldn’t work with a more traditional fantasy style to the art. This is a case where the style really helps set and sell the tone of the series and story.
Barbaric #2 is another solid issue that continues a hell of a fun adventure. There’s something fantastic about this series in that it adds to a genre that has been around for decades while also acting as an homage and a bit of a send-up as well. There’s something for everyone here and in all of that, it’s able to keep readers on their toes. The first issue was fantastic and this follow-up is able to keep up with another amazing entry.
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