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Review: Barbaric #2

Barbaric #2

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


Purchase: comiXology KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Barbaric #1

Owen the Barbarian is a horrible person before three witches curse him… to do good!? Barbaric #1 kicks off a twist to the fantasy genre made popular by Conan the Barbarian. We weren’t prepared for this debut and absolutely loved it.

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

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Review: Barbaric #1

Barbaric #1

Barbaric #1 is the story of a total bastard of a barbarian who was cursed by witches to be good. His axe, which talks to him and loves blood, keeps him on the straight and narrow as its own little lie detector. He has a real hatred of witches, which plays right into the crux of the story, where a witch is targeted by an angry mob. There’s that tricky thing about being good that pulls him in to help the witch. Well, that and the creatures that are springing forth from the ground.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Barbaric #1. Barbaric is definitely an apt name for this book. For a book that could have easily come off as just another hack-and-slash or even a Conan rip-off, Barbaric definitely comes off as something totally different. It plays up the language and the violence a lot. It’s a brutal book, with a gleam of humor and ultimately makes for a unique fantasy comic book. Michael Moreci’s writing is on-point here. It was a nice change to have characters speak like normal characters and not drum up fantasy speak. The dialogue felt more natural.

I thought the visuals were well-suited for the story. Nathan Gooden and Addison Duke’s art totally embellishes the blood and guts and glory of Barbaric. A really gritty style of art is on display with this comic and they don’t shy away from violent depictions of an axe-wielding madman going to town on a bunch of people. Good lettering throughout by Jim Campbell.

I normally recommend the D&D books that IDW Publishing puts out but this might be the new book to recommend to people who are looking for something different and enjoyable. Barbaric #1 totally lives up to its name (but in a good way) and delivers the bloody ass-kickings you’d want from a hard-R fantasy story. A man and his talking axe make for a fine story. Personally, I’d buy this issue and continue on from there.

Story: Michael Moreci Art: Nathan Gooden
Color: Addison Duke Letterer: Jim Campbell
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Review: Barbaric #1

Barbaric #1

There’s a certain formula to the “Barbarian genre” best shown in stories like Conan the Barbarian. The stories usually feature lots of brutal action with axes swinging and enemies slashed apart. There’s also mystical elements featuring witches or evil spells. And there’s a bit of a regressive nature about them as the main character beds women, tend to find themselves at the center of the world, and only help when they’re forced or it benefits them. Barbaric #1 on the surface seems like another spin on that formula but it’s far more sly and intelligent.

Owen the Barbarian is cursed to do good. Yes, he was the typical barbarian trope but a trio of witches has forced him to actually help people when asked. Then, there’s Axe, Owen’s talking mystical axe who only wants the blood of evil individuals. Put them together and you have Ghost Rider in a barbarian setting with a social justice spin to it all. And, it’s awesome.

Written by Michael Moreci, Barbaric #1 at first comes off as a crazed barbarian who has a code of justice and might be crazy. But, as the story expands and more details are revealed, it turns into something so much more. Moreci has taken the classic barbarian trope and delivered a spin to it. Though the title is barbaric, its underlying themes and “code of conduct” is anything but.

Barbaric #1 is fun in that it sets up a story that feels like the classic barbarian story. It has all sorts of violent fights. Boy parts are slashed off. Blood flies with glee. That glee delivers an almost comedic aspect to it all. The violence delivers laughs as the comic is able to deliver a comedic beat and deliver that’s almost physical in nature.

That’s all done by the impressive art of Nathan Gooden. The comic sticks to the classic barbarian visuals but does so in such an exaggerated way. Axe adds to it all as the reader is unsure if it’s really talking. That leads to some solid moments of laughter as the characters within the comic are left to ponder the same thing. Addison Duke‘s colors pop and Jim Campbell‘s lettering helps bring all of the jokes together. Campbell’s lettering gives Axe a lot of its personality and enhances so many of the other characters. The art is fantastic with a style that’s part Conan, part Groo, and part Lobo, and most importantly all fun.

Barabric #1 is a hell of a start that sets things up nicely. By the end, we know the mission, we know the tone, and we know “the rules”. There’s an underlying intelligence in all of that’s unexpected and makes this stand out. This is a comic for people looking for something a little smarter than your average hack and slash.

Story: Michael Moreci Art: Nathan Gooden
Color: Addison Duke Letterer: Jim Campbell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Vault’s Barbaric Gets a Deluxe Black & White Editions

Vault Comics has announced that, after record-breaking demand, every issue of the Barbaric series will receive special, deluxe, black & white editions. Printed on deluxe heavyweight paper, Barbaric Black & White Deluxe Editions are designed to spotlight the incredible line art of series artist and co-creator, Nathan Gooden.

Barbaric #1 Black & White Deluxe Edition will come with two new covers. A regular edition with new cover art by Gooden, and a special NSFW black bag variant, also by Gooden. The regular cover can be ordered at comic shops everywhere using Diamond Order Code APR219823. The Black Bag Variant can be ordered using Diamond Order Code APR219824. Both covers will hit store shelves on July, 28th, 2021.

Barbaric is written and co-created by Michael Moreci, drawn and co-created by Nathan Gooden, colored by Addison Duke, lettered by Jim Campbell, and designed by Tim Daniel.

TAKE IN THE BRUTAL INKS OF YOUR NEW FAVORITE COMIC, NOW AVAILABLE IN A DELUXE BLACK AND WHITE EDITION ON PREMIUM PAPER.

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.

Preview: Barbaric #1

Barbaric #1

(W) Michael Moreci (A/CA) Nathan Gooden
In Shops: Jun 30, 2021
SRP: $3.99

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

Get a Look at Barbaric #1 Before its June 30 Release

Vault Comics has revealed an extended preview of Barbaric #1, the wild, blood-thirsty fantasy series from writer Michael Moreci, artist Nathan Gooden, colorist Addison Duke, letterer Jim Campbell, and designer Tim Daniel.

Barbaric follows Owen the Barbarian who 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 will hit store shelves in June 30th, 2021. The first issue will launch with a Vault Vintage variant from Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel that pays homage to Barry Windsor-Smith’s legendary cover to Conan The Barbarian #1 (1970), and an epic battle variant from Vault Cover Artist In-Residence, Joshua Hixson.

TKO Studios Debuts Three New TKO Shorts for June

A grieving father joins the parents of other murdered and missing children in their small town to hunt for the mysterious and potentially supernatural force that is responsible and uncovers an even more grisly conspiracy in River of Sin; a lone female game hunter gets more than she bargained for after she is rescued by a mysterious couple who receive sinister nighttime visitors known as the Roofstompers; a visceral battle for survival more than a mile under the ocean ensues in The Walk.

TKO Studios has three new TKO Shorts out this June. They can be ordered directly from TKO and comic retailers.

RIVER OF SIN

Children are being found dead and mutilated in the woods. Alonso fears this might be the fate of his daughter. In a desperate hunt for answers, he and the other grieving parents must take matters into their own hands. Could it be the suspected Bruja, hungry for young blood, or is there a bigger secret among the townsfolk? Discover the truth in RIVER OF SIN by Kelly Williams and Chas! Pangburn.

RIVER OF SIN

ROOFSTOMPERS

Far away from the pressures of being a surgeon in New York City, Cassie decides to take a solo hunting trip to Wyoming. There she is attacked and luckily rescued by a middle-aged couple living in an isolated cabin with their son. After weeks, she isn’t getting any better and she begins to question the couple’s motives and the strange nightly visits that they dismiss as the “Roofstompers.” Roofstompers is by Alex Paknadel, Ian Macewan, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

ROOFSTOMPERS

THE WALK

Alice and her team of aquatic explorers are eager to study what lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Stationed at the Midnight Zone, 2000 meters below the surface; their supplies start to run out. In a dangerous expedition to survive, they must push through but soon realize that the ocean is more vast, dark, and mysterious than they could have ever imagined. The Walk is by Michael Moreci, Jesús Hervás, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

THE WALK

Wonderbound Reveals its Entire 2022 Graphic Novel Slate

Today at the US Book Show, Wonderbound announced their entire 2022 publishing lineup of original graphic novels from a dazzling array of talent, including Shea Fontana, Brian Middleton, Agnes Garbowska, Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin, Galaad, Rebecca Horner, Kelly Mellings, Corey Lansdell, Lisa LaRose, Sam Beck, Ryan Haddock, Nick Wyche, Heather Nuhfer, Patricia Daguisan, Michael Moreci & many more.  

Wonderbound is the middle grade and young adult publishing imprint of Vault Comics. Every Wonderbound book is a ticket to a land of wonder, inviting you to leave behind the ordinary, and explore a world of magic, marvels, and mysteries. Whether you’re learning fantastical wrassling, going on zany quests to deliver packages (and stuff), solving the mysteries of a gothic mansion, or settling into a spooky new apartment, you’re always in for an adventure. 

Check out the full list of Wonderbound’s 2022 titles below:

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 2: RIDERS ON THE STORM

Written by Colleen Coover & Paul Tobin, drawn Galaad, colored by Rebecca Horner & Galaad, and lettered by Jeff Powell

Synopsis: Sequel! Lydia Riverthane faces more dangerous challenges as she fights for her brother’s freedom and wrassling glory.

Format: YA, 96 pages, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: February 2022

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 2: RIDERS ON THE STORM

POIKO: QUESTS & STUFF

Written & Illustrated by Brian Middleton.

Synopsis: Have you ever had to deliver a care package to a dragon with allergies? Have you ever been waylaid by a school of space fish? That’s just an average day for Poiko, the kingdom’s most reliable courier. The world can be a big, scary place, but it can also be wondrous. Sad things can happen, but there are always good friends to turn to, or new friends to make. And no matter what, there is always, always someone who could use your help. Poiko learns all these lessons and more every time he brushes his tail, pulls on his hoodie, and steps out into a new adventure. The philosophical whimsicality of Calvin & Hobbes meets the fantasy-scapes of Adventure Time in this modern-day classic.

Format: MG, 128, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: March 2022 

POIKO: QUESTS & STUFF

KENZIE’S KINGDOM

Written by Shea Fontana, drawn by Agnes Garbowska, and colored by Sil Brys.

Synopsis: Kenzie hates that her family moved to a castle to start a Medieval-themed resort, but all that changes when a time-travelling squire needs Kenzie’s help to get back home to the past! From the best-selling creative team behind DC Superhero Girls, this is a perfect read for fans of Phoebe and her Unicorn, The Baby-Sitter’s Club, or Witches of Brooklyn.

Format: MG, 128, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: April 2022

KENZIE'S KINGDOM

GHOSTER HEIGHTS

Written by Kelly Mellings & Corey Lansdell, and drawn by Lisa LaRose.

Synopsis: When Ona moves into her Baba’s apartment complex after a traumatic event, she befriends a ghost she discovers haunting the boiler room. When her new friendship starts allowing her to see other ghosts—the ghosts who haunt the other residents of her building—she decides to use her ability to help her new neighbors face their troubles and free themselves from their specters. In doing so, however, Ona must eventually come face to face with a much darker foe—her own trauma and grief. The earnestness of Judy Bloom meets the raw emotion of I Kill Giants in this beautifully hopeful story of childhood tragedy.

Format: MG, 208, $14.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: June 2022

GHOSTER HEIGHTS

VERSE VOL. 2: THE IRON GATE

Written & illustrated by Sam Beck.

Synopsis: Sequel! In the wake of disaster, Neitya and Fife must part ways in order to discover their own destinies.

Format: YA, 240, $14.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: July 2022 

VERSE VOL. 2: THE IRON GATE

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 3: PUT A LYD ON IT

Written by Colleen Coover & Paul Tobin, drawn Galaad, colored by Rebecca Horner & Galaad, and lettered by Jeff Powell.

Synopsis: Final Volume! Lydia and her brother uncover that the plot against them goes much deeper than they realized!

Format: YA, 112 pages, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: August, 2022 

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 3: PUT A LYD ON IT

THE BROTHERS FLICK

Written by Ryan Haddock, drawn by Nick Wyche with layouts by David Stoll, and colored by Whitney Cogar.

Synopsis:  At Strander House, things are…weird. There’s an ogre wedged in the closet and you have to be careful not to slip on the leak coming from the ocean in the attic. What’s possibly weirder than the fact that you can walk into the bathroom and end up in next Tuesday are the four brothers who investigate these strange occurrences…the Brothers Flick! Leo, Desmond, Remy, and Cub seek to get to the bottom of every bump in the night, every shadow you swear you saw move. If they happen to stumble upon answers to the mysterious disappearance of their own family along the way, all the better. Sherlock Holmes meets Wayside School in this Edwardian-era supernatural sleuthing graphic novel.

Format: YA, 208 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: September, 2022 

THE BROTHERS FLICK

CREEPY THE SNOWMAN

Written by Michael, Noah, & Jackson Moreci.

Synopsis: Creepy the Snowman will get you, maybe today at noon. Creepy the Snowman will get you, even on the moon. Half-melted and half-evil, Creepy the Snowman, along with his fire-breathing sidekick space chicken, seeks to destroy children’s fun, find love, and either save the world or destroy it, depending on what day of the week it is. Created and written by brothers Noah (8) and Jackson (6) Moreci, along with their father, critically-acclaimed horror writer Michael Moreci, this is a book FOR kids BY kids. For readers of Dog Man, HiLo, and Max and the Midknights.

Format: MG, 176 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: October, 2022 

CREEPY THE SNOWMAN

LUNCH

Written by Heather Nuhfer. 

Synopsis: New to her middle school and terrified of navigating the cafeteria at lunchtime, Tia discovers that when she eats the same food as someone else, she can hear that person’s thoughts. Quickly, she and her new friend Leigh, realize that this power can help them fight back against the popular kids who have excluded them from their lunch table. As Tia connects with more and more of her classmates, not only does she realize that the popular kids are just as nervous and insecure as she is, but she discovers the power of creating a community through food. A perfect bridge to fantasy for readers of Smile, Awkward, or Click.

Format: MG, 208 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: November, 2022

LUNCH

DC Celebrates Aquaman’s 80th Anniversary With a 100-Page Super Spectacular!

Since his first appearance in November 1941’s More Fun Comics #73, Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, has defended the Seven Seas and the DC Universe itself from all manner of threats. On August 31, DC and Aqua-fans alike can celebrate the legacy of the Atlantean Sea King, with the release of the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular.

Some of the greatest names in comics will contribute their storytelling firepower to this 100-page collector’s item – writers Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown, Stephanie Phillips, Michael Moreci, Marguerite Bennett, Dan Watters, Jeff Parker, Becky Cloonan, and Francis Manapul. They’ll be joined by some of the most prolific artists in comics, including Steve Epting, Paul Pelletier, Valentine de Landro, Hendry Prasetya, Pop Mhan, Trungles, Miguel Mendonça, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and more.

In addition to a stunning cover by the iconic team of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular will feature eight “decade” themed card stock variant covers, portraying the marine monarch throughout the years:

  • 1940’s variant cover by Michael Cho
  • 1950’s variant cover by Ramona Fradon
  • 1960’s variant cover by Walt Simonson
  • 1970’s variant cover by José Luis García-López
  • 1980’s variant cover by Chuck Patton and Kevin Nowlan
  • 1990’s variant cover by Yvel Guichet
  • 2000’s variant cover by Becky Cloonan
  • 2010’s variant cover by Robson Rocha

This all-star-filled anthology spans across the ocean king’s legacy, not just celebrating his own triumphs but also those of his greatest allies and enemies. The main cover version of this 100-page blockbuster is priced at $9.99, with each card stock variant priced at $10.99.

Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
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