‘American Barbarian’ Combines Jack Kirby and ‘Family Circus’ For The Best Page Ever
Tom Scioli is probably best known to comics readers as the artist and co-creator of Image's Godland, but for the past few months, he's been hard at work on American Barbarian, which has a pretty good shot at being the best new webcomic of the year.
Set in what Scioli has dubbed "a post-post-apocalyptic world" -- a future so far-flung that it boasts a New New New York City -- AmBarb reads like a beautifully over-the-top lost Kirby project, lovingly crafted from equal parts OMAC, Captain America, New Gods and Conan The Barbarian. And as though that wasn't awesome enough, Sicoli recently dropped what might be not just the best page of his comic, but of his entire career: The American Barbarian's one-man assault on a gigantic fortress techno-tank.
You can see the page in all its full-size glory at AmBarb.com, but rest assured that it only gets more awesome at full-size. The fact that Scioli drew his title character over 70 times to illustrate his journey through the "castle" is great enough, but it's also got some fantastic small touches, like how -- in true comic book fashion -- he carries a sword but never actually cuts anyone with it. It's essentially the super-heroic version of those Family Circus strips where Billy roams all over town leaving a dotted line, but I think we can all agree that they'd be better if Billy was a barbarian taking out explosive cannons with a broadsword in the future.
Also, as you can see from the bottom of the strip, American Barbarian drives a hatchback, and that is hilarious.
It even continues onto the next page, with even more action:
American Barbarian apologizing for throwing someone off the roof of a giant techno-tank, then going on to clothesline soldiers and kick robots to death? That might be the greatest thing ever.
It is not, however, the only awesome thing to come out of the strip. This is, after all, a comic that features a villain like Two-Tank Omen...
...a twelve foot-tall "Satanic pharaoh" who ransacks the post-post-apocalyptic wastelands with his two tanks, which I believe are also his feet, and a hero who not only swears revenge, but carves the letters into his own fingers...
...with three exclamation points.
The comic is currently in its third arc, and while there's a print edition on the way in the future, you can read the whole thing online starting here, and you definitely should. After all, revenge stories come along every day, but REVENGE!!! stories? That's something special.