BARBARIC: AXE TO GRIND #1/ Script by MICHAEL MORECI/ Art by NATHAN GOODEN/ Colors by ADDISON DUKE/ Letters by JIM CAMPBELL/ Design by TIM DANIEL/ Published by VAULT COMICS
Cursed to wield a magical talking axe to protect the innocent and punish the wicked, Owen the Barbarian has had a rougher time of things than usual of late. While the witch Soren has proven a worthy companion, Owen is no closer to ending his geas to be good. However, Owen may get a chance to score some payback against the warlord Gladius, who is so evil that Owen found him distasteful even in his younger, more amoral days.
Barely a month since the last Barbaric special, The Harvest Blades, and here we are blessed with the first chapter of the second book of this satiric sword-and-sorcery send-up. If you enjoyed the original Barbaric, you’ll be glad to find more of the same here. Why ruin a good thing? Nathan Gooden’s artwork is as gloriously violent as ever and the crimson flood does flow, thanks to Addison Duke’s colors.
The script by Michael Moreci is a tad more thoughtful this time around, with Owen showing a bit more consideration to his actions. This disturbs him more than the violence that dominates his life. Yet it also shows the intelligence Conan showed in the original Robert E. Howard stories. Owen and Conan are similar in that they are not dumb muscle – they just usually can’t be bothered to think deep thoughts, though they are capable of doing so.
Barbaric: Axe To Grind is similarly thoughtful and well worth the reading by those who dismiss the fantasy genre as incapable of conveying deep thoughts along with the boobs and blood-letting. There is depth here, aye, and no small amount of craft in both the story and the art. If you’ve not boldly entered the world of Barbaric, this is an ideal place to begin!
Barbaric: Axe To Grind #1 releases on August 17, 2022!