Words: Michael Moreci

Art: Nathan Gooden

Colors: Addison Duke

Letters: Jim Campbell

Publisher: Vault

Spoilers for Barbaric #1 may be showing up here. I’m covering my butt. But that being said let’s go because this issue is sooooo much fun.

I think the thing that I’m liking the most about Barbaric is the fight between expectations and reality. Owen the barbarian walks around going on and on about how he hates his curse of having to do the right thing, but I get the idea that he’s hiding behind that curse excuse and might really enjoy doing the right thing. His axe Axe is a giant lovable asshole, but there’s hints of a deeper story hiding somewhere beyond the surface layer of cynicism and bloodthirsty actions.

Second issues for me in general are where the fun really starts. The first issue has to set everything up, and the first issue of Barbaric certainly did that. But once you’re out of that introduction you get to start having fun. Can’t forget about doing a slight catch up though for all the people you’ve told about the series who aren’t lucky enough to get a copy of #1 though. I try not to give away exactly where I pull images from for these but I feel like I have to tell you with this one.

Here’s your opening page. Assuming you’re my friend I’ve already told you about #1 and how great it is so you don’t need a full on recap, but you need to make sure you’re in the right mindset. And Barbaric hits a few different major things that make it so much fun.

You’ve certainly got the gore aspect. If you weren’t a fan of that in the first issue then what happens here won’t change that. I appreciate how it’s purposeful gore though.

You’ve got tons of humor mixed in. Owen still has the dry British wit thing going on, and Axe wants to be the center of attention.

But mixed in with all of this is some great character development. We really get to learn about Soren the necromancer and what makes her tick. The art does as much of the lifting here as the writing. We can see the pain in Soren’s face as she recants what has led here to where she is now.

This story is definitely going places and I’m happy to be along for the ride. It’s a story that has a clear sense of where it wants to go and is going to have some fun on the way there.

This whole story just seems like one where I’ll be going back to see what foreshadowing was hidden right there that I missed.

If you can’t get your hands on the first issue this isn’t a bad place to start. I think you’ll enjoy it more reading both though.

Chris Osborne

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