By now, most of us are already familiar with the eclectic written work of the Scotland’s own Grant Morrison. Having already achieved legendary status in his career at DC and Marvel, Morrison delves into the realm of creator-owned material with Happy!, published through Image Comics. This time around he pairs up with artist Darick Robertson to tell a dark and vulgar story in the wake of the Yule tide holiday season.
From the beginning, Morrison sets the tone of the book by immersing you in speech balloons filled with some of the vilest profanity you’ll read in an independent comic book. F words are frivolously spewed amongst a litany of degrading terminology. And just when you think you’ve found a point of rest, Robertson punches your eyes in with grotesque panels that are ever burned into your retinas. Sure, maybe you too can you imagine a serial killer in a cockroach costume, smoking a joint and receiving oral sex from a prostitute. But Morrison and Robertson up the ante by having him shot in the head by our despicable hero, Nick Sax. From there, we’ve only just scratched the surface of Happy!
Nicholas Sax, the protagonist, is a detestable shell of the man he used to be. Formerly one of the best detectives of his department, with “a beautiful wife and a golden career”, he’s now a vigilante contract killer. After setting a resourceful trap to execute a hit on three scumbags, a wrench is thrown into his gears that involve an elusive password to a deceased crime lord’s fortune and him waking up from the hospital to see that the imaginary friend of a mysterious girl named Hailey is talking to him. This imaginary friend is a cartoony rendition of a tiny, blue unicorn with wings named Happy and apparently, Nick is the only other person that can hear or see Happy.
That’s right. A tiny, blue unicorn, with wings, named Happy.
Fans of Garth Ennis and The Boys, will immediately feel right at home with this series. Darick Robertson does some of his best work in this issue and is able to seamlessly illustrate Morrison’s deranged story with the greatest of ease. Close ups and panels are gracefully done and visually resonate with every page turn. Grant Morrison’s imagination runs rampantly fervent without any editorial boundaries in this first issue. If this is any inclination for what to expect in future issues for this 4 part series, then put me in a straitjacket and sign me up. I’m whole heatedly on board for this raspy, kick-in-the-balls Christmas story.
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