Joe The Barbarian

A riff on Conan? Fantasy novels in general, according to wikipedia. And it's Grant Morrison, and he's playing inside our collective unconscious again -- funneling timeless allegories of life vs. death, science vs. faith, cowardice vs. courage, thru a tale of a bullied teenager with an overdeveloped imagination dealing with bereavement. Heaving with ideas (warrior rats, dwarf pirates, flying machines) and phenomenal set-pieces (there's an awesome retelling of Gandalf's duel with the Balrog in the middle of the mini). As important is the palpable sense of threat Morrison and artist Sean Murphy create. The hero is diabetic, and a lack of glucose fires off a spectacular, and very distracting, hallucination. The tension between wanting to explore this marvelous imaginary world, and wanting its author to survive, is very well managed. Thrilling.

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