REVIEW: 'Barbaric Book Two: Axe to Grind' #1 by Michael Moreci, Nathan Gooden, and Addison Duke



Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Nathan Gooden, Addison Duke
Letters: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Release Date: August 17, 2022
Cover Price: $4.99

It's the moment we've all been waiting for - the start of an all-new arc of BARBARIC!
Follow Owen and his magical companion, the tender, talking Axe as they spread kindness and hope in a world gone bad...just kidding! Owen, Axe, and Soren are back, and so is all the mayhem and bloodshed that follows them wherever they go! This time, they're out to settle an old score against Gladius, a wicked a$$hole who did Owen wrong way back in his barbarian days. As's just f***ing barbaric.


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

One of the best fantasy titles is back as Owen, his talking axe, Soren, and Steel have their hands full with giant vampires in comics' wildest and most entertaining ride. The new arc wastes no time getting right to the action as the group is in the middle of a fight. 

What's made 'Barbaric' so great is Michael Moreci's ability to write a legitimate fantasy adventure full of sword-wielding (or ax-wielding in this case) violence, magic, and humor. The balance is well managed. The laughs are earned, the stakes are high, the violence is brutal and you never want the story to end. 'Axe to Grind' is no different as it's a bloody whirlwind of head-chopping and leg-breaking closed-quarter fighting testing Owen and the gang to their limits. The goal is to kill the head vampire but have to get through a myriad of monsters to do it. It'll also free Steel from the vampire's influence over his life. 

The sheer scope of the battle is a boon to fans of Nathan Gooden's art. The tight shots of the faces of our heroes as they discuss their predicament give way to wider shots of the mountainous bodies of the giant vampires bearing down on them. The character designs are creative and menacing. The violence is as crowd-pleasing as the amount of vampire blood axe gleefully consumes. Addison Duke's colors are deep and rich and bathed in blood. It's what fans of 'Barbaric' expect and won't be disappointed. 

'Barbaric Book Two: Axe to Grind' knows exactly what fans want- laughs and bloody action. It delivers both and a surprising amount of heart too. The new arc sets a high bar with a fierce battle that incorporates teamwork and a sense of humor. With endless charm, bonafide fantasy adventure, and irresistible characters, 'Barbaric' is back and better than ever.