As Owen our foul-mouthed barbarian freely accepts, he may be a shit, but at least he’s honest about it, unlike the gruesome villains surrounding him in Vault Comics’ Barbaric #3.
Writer Michael Moreci and artist Nathan Gooden wrap up this first story-arc in suitably savage style with pinky of sword and sorcery, blood and guts as Owen faces down the abominable abbot and his demonic forces in a bid to save the sorceress Soren. Although it is debatable how much saving she needs in a tale that may be set in a barbaric setting once upon a time, but is very contemporary in its representation of the genders. A far cry from the original Conan stories which it gently parodies.
Gooden depicts each gnarly panel with great panache and energy as Soren and Owen take on the forces of evil while also hinting at a more complex character than simply a barbarian welding a magical axe. The colours of Addison Duke are non-fussy, almost flat in places, but it’s in the choice of colours that add a certain Hammer House of Horror vibrancy to bare on this issue.
Sadly, even though it’s an oversized issue it’s a quick read. The pace is appropriate to project the perils Owen finds himself in and how swiftly and bloodily he deals with it all, but I would have liked more to sink my teeth into as the second issue also flew by at some speed too. But, it’s only a minor quibble and didn’t dint my enjoyment of this issue overall. I mean, this is an action-orientated seres after all.
And so, with one danger dampened, there is always the inevitable cliffhanger to keep fans keen and set up the next book in this fun, feisty series. A series we’ll have to wait until 2022 to pick up.
Barbaric #3 is out now from Vault Comics.
Owen and his talking axe have a lot of fighting and maiming to do in ‘Barbaric’ #3 before the end of this first story arc. Lucky he enjoys this kind of bloody lifestyle.