Vault Comics 2021
Written by Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Nathan Gooden
Coloured by Addison Duke
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Everything's gone to sh*t. But what else is new for a barbarian cursed to do good, who has to follow the commands of a bloodthirsty axe? It's just that today's a little worse. With Owen's back against the wall, and his enemies eager to chop him to bits, things are looking especially grim as the first arc of BARBARIC comes to a close.
I love this book, there is something about Owen that is just so dang fun and makes you actually like and care about him. Michael does such an amazing job writing this book and these characters. I cannot get over just how good, smart and interesting this book is as we go through the pages and see moments that you just don’t expect to see and that are strong and powerful for the moment. Plus the way this ends is just how we knew it would be and I like that considering what else we see at the end that sets up the next arc, which by the way I am thrilled to be seeing advertised. These characters, especially Axe, are too good to be a one and done story arc.
I am an absolute fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter and this fleshes them out even further. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story the more we’re caught up in the excitement of it all.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is marvellously rendered. The layers really do open up some great avenues to be explored over time and they add this wonderful depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How much characterisation is packed into this is amazing to me and how it is left open to really showcase Owen’s diversity. How everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow and how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.
I am in love with the interiors here. The linework is superb and how we see the varying weights and techniques we see being utilised to create this level & quality of detail within the work is utterly phenomenal. How we see the composition within the panels and how this brings us such depth perception, that sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is utterly fantastic. The imagination and creativity that we see with these denizens beneath the church is mind blowing and I cannot help but admire what I see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkable eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a great understanding of how colour works and how to maximise their effects. Between the purple, orange and the yellow hues and tones alone we see some stunning work.
Between these three characters there is such diversity in their personalities and reasons for doing what they do and to be able to see them get along and work together is really great to experience. It is part of what makes this such a joy to read honestly. With some sharp, intelligent writing and superb characterisation alongside these dynamic interiors we get this phenomenal example of storytelling.