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Review Group Week 206 - JOE THE BARBARIAN #1

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Daringd
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Postby Daringd » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:29 pm

Joe the Barbarian #1: Morrison/Murphy Vertigo $1.00
I loved this. Thought it was straight up classic Morrison. A bit of a slow start but nevertheless I think we are in for a roller coaster ride of a book. The art my Sean Murphy was f#cking brilliant, e of the best art I’ve seen in a comic. I enjoyed the story but the art defiantly over shadowed it.
Overall 9.0/10

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Postby Old Man » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:30 pm

I'm just too tired to review tonight.

Maybe I can get to it tomorrow.
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Postby Punchy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:21 am

Joe The Barbarian #1(of 8 ) - 'Chapter 1: Hypo' - Morrison and Murphy

Story - We all know that Grant Morrison can be hit and miss, the almighty Godhead can write some of the best comics of all time, and then alternately spew out incomprehensible gibberish the next month. But overall, it appers to me that his best work is his own, creator-owned stuff, Seaguy, We3, all that jazz, it's awesome. Which is why I'm glad he's got a new Vertigo series out, Joe The Barbarian.

This first issue is a very decent start, there's not a lot that happens, but it's atmospheric, and told very well. This is the story of Joe, a young diabetic who is about to lose his house, who forgets to take his Insulin and trips out a magical fantasy world. What I like about this is how Morrison tells the story quite subtly. You may not even notice on first read-through that the Bully stole Joe's chocolate. I didn't notice that Joe left the door to his house open. There's no exposition, and it's a good thing, Morrison tried a kind of hyper-aggressive storytelling in Final Crisis and it was a massive failure, but this is a step away from that, and it works. This first issue moves quite slowly, some might say too slowly, but I think it works. I particularly loved the 2 or 3 silent pages where Joe walks through his house, Morrison has talked about how Joe's fantasy world mirrors the layout of his house, and while some readers probably skimmed through these pages, I imagine they contain some clues and set-up for the rest of the book.

The teenage angst is a little wrote at the moment, but it still rings true, maybe it's because I'm only just out of my teenage years, but I'm still a sucker for these kinds of stories. The page where Joe insults his dead dad is a real kicker.

But this isn't just a tale of teenage woes, there's a fantastical element, and it's pretty fantastic, you can tell that Morrison is having the time of his life writing the dialogue from the talking toys, blood and stuffing, etc, it's a delight. And seeing all thse toys come to life is pretty special, You've got Cowboys, Transformers, GI Joe, Dinosaurs, even some DCU characters like Lobo and Batman and Robin. Is this the first time Batman has been in a Vertigo book? Can they do that? Even if it's an action figure? I saw a Superman action figure, but he wasn't in the fantasy world.

Joe The Barbarian is off to a slow start, I'm not quite sure what to make of it at this point, I think by #2 or #3 we'll have a better idea of where this is all going, but at this point, it's all promise, and I'm looking forward to see where Morrison takes us.

Art - Whereas Morrison may have slightly disappointed here, Sean Murphy certainly didn't. Murphy is an interesting case, he gets a lot of buzz and critical praise online, but he hasn't really drawn that many comics, 2 issues of Hellblazer and a Scarecrow story (and that Wolverine Alphabet thing, which is genius). But with Joe The Barbarian, he's proving he's more than just hype. His work here is truly stellar. The spread of the graveyard, the page of Joe's street, it all looks real and highly detailed. And the fantasyland is equally impressive. But I was most impressed with his design work on the house, in his Vertigo 'On The Ledge' Editorial, he talks about how he designed the house, and it is awesome. Joe's room is pretty much the best bedroom ever, the train, the rope ladder, it's just beautiful. On this showing, I think Murphy has what it takes to be the next big thing. just amazing. I hope he keeps it up.

Best Line - 'This fairytale's on a one-way trip to hell' Oh yeah.

8/10

Also, I didn't notice any grammatical errors or repeat words.

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Postby Mr_Batman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:51 am

Amlah, is there a way you can tell me which books I haven't reviewed since week 187?

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Postby 3MJ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:03 am

I read this. I don't know what to think. I went into this knowing it was a Morrison book and expected it to be crazy and out there, and it just wasnt. The art was great, really really incredible stuff, it's just that the story was well generic. Which I didn't expect.

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Postby Chris » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:06 am

Should've been written by The Bendis.
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Postby Old Man » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:52 am

Almost noon on a Saturday, and I still haven't reviewed this book.

I'm such a slacker.
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Postby ****** » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:02 pm

Mr_Batman wrote:Amlah, is there a way you can tell me which books I haven't reviewed since week 187?


Gah! I'm nice and comfy in my chair, I'm going to have to get up and grab the usb drive with the SoD from my office. Thanks, jerk! :x :P

DR: The List - Avengers
Giant Size Old Man Logan
Teen Titans #75
Unwritten #6
Azrael #1
Locke & Key: CoS #1
Punisher #11
Image United #1
Jonah Hex #50
Invincible Iron Man #21
Walt Disney C&S #701
Hellboy: The Bride of Hell
Siege #1
Amazing Spider-Man #617

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Postby ****** » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:04 pm

Old Man wrote:Almost noon on a Saturday, and I still haven't reviewed this book.

I'm such a slacker.


These periodic updates have been helpful though, they definitely deserve a place in the front page thing this week.

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Postby Eli Katz » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:50 pm

Punchy wrote:8/10

Also, I didn't notice any grammatical errors or repeat words.


The worst error is on page 3, in the final word ballon. The mom says to Joe: "It it wasn't for him, none of this would be happening."

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:59 pm

Eli Katz wrote:The worst error is on page 3, in the final word ballon. The mom says to Joe: "It it wasn't for him, none of this would be happening."

what's really funny is Didio's debut in Outsiders this week is plagued with typos as well. :lol:

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Postby ****** » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Eli Katz wrote:The worst error is on page 3, in the final word ballon. The mom says to Joe: "It it wasn't for him, none of this would be happening."


That was really the only thing I had a problem with and it was probably just a typo on Todd Klein's part. He's one of the better letters working, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've seen something like this in one of his books. Of course, the only reason it sticks out so much when he does it is because he's one of only a handful of letterers with a recognizable name.

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Postby Old Man » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:17 pm

amlah6 wrote:These periodic updates have been helpful though, they definitely deserve a place in the front page thing this week.


Actually, the frequent updates are serving a purpose. The intended purpose is to mock those who post every week that their review will be posted shortly.
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Old Man
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Postby Old Man » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:20 pm

There is also a secondary purpose which happened accidentally. Those posts serve as a sort of place marker. When I get an email notification after I post, I can go to the most recent place to start reading the thread. If I just ignore the thread until I'm ready to post my review, I might have 5 or 6 pages to catch up on.
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Postby Punchy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:13 pm

Eli Katz wrote:The worst error is on page 3, in the final word ballon. The mom says to Joe: "It it wasn't for him, none of this would be happening."


I didn't notice, and it was clear what was meant, I don't think it matters.

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