Return of the Barbarian

Joe the Barbarian #7

It’s been a while since we saw this one — the previous issue came out in early July. But it’s great to see that the delay is over and we can get back into the hallucinatory fantasy.

Joe is a diabetic kid who might need a glass of soda to stop his hallucinations — or he may actually not be hallucinating and really is leading an army of action figures against the tyranny of King Death. While the army is attacked by Deathcoats and zombies, reinforcements come in from Smoot’s family of submarine pirates, giving everyone a chance to finally make it to the Fountain of Life — otherwise known as the bottle of soda in the refrigerator. But will Joe use the Aqua Vitae to save himself or to save loyal members of his army? And can Joe survive a face-to-face meeting with King Death?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great to see this series is still going. Lots of excitement and thrills here, amazing battles, and some really terrifying dangers. This has been a great series — and next issue will be the last one.

Morning Glories #2

Casey has discovered that her parents have been killed by the teachers at the diabolical Morning Glory Academy — and they’re not glad she found out, so they torture her for a while before throwing her back in with her new classmates, who’ve all gotten detention. Ike and Hunter went on an after-curfew exploration and discovered a bunch of secret cultists, while one of the R.A.s tried to stab Jade and Zoe, but they got blamed for all the chaos. Casey refuses to tell the other students that her parents have been killed, and the teachers seal up the detention room and start flooding it. Are the teachers really trying to kill all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, with lots of intrigue and mystery. Not sure why Casey is working so hard to hide the fact that her parents are dead or that she’s been tortured — it’s not like the rest of the students don’t suspect something’s up anyway.

Kill Shakespeare #5

Iago successfully defect’s to the cause of the rebellion, to the consternation of the always-honorable Othello. Deciding that he needs to make his own way, Hamlet leaves the group of rebels to see if he can find the wizard Shakespeare by himself — only to fall prey to nightmarish visions of his dead father and Polonius. He also learns that Richard III’s men are torturing and slaughtering the peasants in the area, and he falls in with a group of travelers, Demetrius, Lysander, and Adriana — none suspecting that Richard’s soldiers are following them.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nothing really spectacular going on in this one — aside from Hamlet’s ghostly visions — but the story is advancing nicely, and it’s still keeping my interest. Looking forward to more of it…

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