Comics Anonymous

HAPPY #1 by G-Man

I’ve tried my best to stay away from reading anything about Grant Morrison’s latest title ‘Happy’ – so I was picking this up with an open mind and no preconceived ideas of what it could be.  Of course, with Morrison involved there was always a high level of expectation and excitement.

What I got from the title was in fact, much more than I was expecting….so it paid off.  Happy revolves around ex-cop turned hit-man, Nick Sax whose corrupt, drug-taking ways see him grinding out an existence in an unflinching take on the darker side of life.  A mature title with a slight air of ‘The Boys’ around it….at least in the vibe of the world and character interactions themselves…foul-mouthed fun from Morrison with a definite “WTF?” moment for me as the story develops.

It’s the age old tale – hit-man sets up a sting for his next hit, hit-man takes out his target, hit-man has heart-attack, revenge set in motion as hit-man is now a target.  The journey through this part of Nick’s life is a violent, sex-filled tale set around a snowy Christmas where the mob rules.  However, there is one element that came as a complete curveball… what is initially passed off as a drug-induced hallucination but soon develops into something MUCH more.  I won’t tell you what that is as I don’t want to spoil it any way but just be prepared for a mix of Sin City meets Harvey (there’s a movie reference combo that’s worth a read for sure)

As much as the writing is vintage Morrison there has to be a mention for Darick Robertson on art duties and colourist Richard P. Black who have captured Morrison’s vision in such an exact and captivating way.  Something that we’ve seen countless times from his collaborations with Frank Quitely and it’s exciting to see this pairing work so well together too.  Smart panel layouts mix things up a bit and the gritty, grubby details mixed with the blue-feathered hallucination and I’m hooked on this from issue #1……bit disappointed it’s only a 4-parter to be honest but we’ll see how things play out.

It’s another instant classic and it’s no surprise to the Comics Anonymous gang that it’s an Image Comics release…..who have a strong case for producing the most varied and interesting releases with such consistency over 2012.  The writing and artwork hit the mark for me and this has firmly placed itself in my must-reads already……the Morrison effect continues it seems.



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