Posted September 27, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics


Reviewing Happy #1 by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson.

” ‘Happy’? What the *hell* is a ‘Happy’, anyway?”

It takes a certain level of appreciation for mind-numbing insanity and seemingly-way-out-of-left-field plot developments to fully enjoy a Grant Morrison story. It thus comes as no surprise that you can get through the first half of Happy #1 and you STILL wouldn’t have a complete idea of what’s going on and what to expect. Published under Image Comics, this creator-owned series is Morrison’s newest work to hit the stands, and would probably be a good choice for people who want to read more from Morrison, but are sick of the standard superhero fare that is currently filling (or should I say, flooding) the market.

In this issue, we are introduced to former police detective Nick Sax, who, under Morrison’s pen, is immediately depicted as both a meticulous planner and a complete asshole. Tough, manipulative, and unbelievably resilient, Sax is one hard-assed protagonist, and this is evident throughout the entire issue. Morrison’s script does not scrimp on the action at all; at times, it actually felt like I was reading a Garth Ennis book.

This comic is full of foul language and gory, disgusting visuals, all masterfully illustrated by Robertson. His detailed style really works well here, striking a good balance between the gritty, pseudo-realistic action sequences and the downright ridiculous appearance of Happy, a tiny blue horse with wings that looks like the illegitimate lovechild of Donkey from Shrek and a character from The Unfunnies.

I don’t want to spoil much about this book – while it’s not exactly something to write home about, it definitely warrants a full read. Let me say this, though: the circumstances surrounding the appearance of Happy in the story will probably leave you scratching your head in bewilderment. Then again, this IS a Morrison story, so it would actually be surprising if everything instantly made sense, right?

Happy #1 is a promising, if not terribly compelling, start to this mini-series. I have a feeling that it’ll get better as the story progresses, given that we’re dealing with a writer who relies heavily on taking seemingly random elements and putting them together to create a fascinating buildup to stories that usually end up blowing your mind.

VERDICT: 3.5/5

As a whole, the book isn’t incredibly gripping or exciting; however, it HAS managed to capture my interest enough to want to find out what happens next.

I suggest you go pick it up now – come on, let’s read something that ISN’T about Batman or Spider-Man for a change.

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Mikael Angelo Francisco