I picked up the first issue of Happy in passing, not really knowing what to expect and what I received is a mob crime story mixed in with fantasy elements. Happy, written by Grant Morrison with art by Darick Robertson, is an interesting tale of murder and fantasy. Morrison has had a long love of magic in his stories and this comic is no exception. It combines territory that seems fairly new to Morrison, crime stories, and throws it in with what could be considered his bread and butter, magic. I’ve always been a fan of Grant Morrison with his original series being some of my favorites.
In this issue we have our hero, Nick Sax, and the little blue flying horse escaping the mob hospital where Nick is about to be tortured for a password to a fortune. As in the previous issue, Nick is the only one who can see the little blue flying horse that claims to be more than a hallucination and the imaginary friend of a girl named Hailey. In the first issue the little blue just appears while Nick is being taken to the hospital, giddy with joy that Nick can see him (or her?) and prompting Nick to save this girl named Hailey. The first issues has a very gritty feel until we encounter our blue friend at the end but the 2nd issue still holds on to that rough feeling.
The second issue of Happy moves very quickly in the beginning. Before I knew it I was on page 10 but the meat of the issues comes in the last half of the issue. The first 10 pages are full of action and violence, sweet sweet violence. Our little blue horse friend gives a lot more information about his mission, saving Hailey, who seems to be in some sort of danger (which is thoroughly explained at the end.) Our little blue horse (a warped My Little Pony?) proves to Nick that he is, in fact, real in a way that parallels Nick’s character. The first part of this issue is where the majority of the forwarding of the story takes place but as I said previously, the meat of the issue is in the 2nd half. In the 2nd part we get a more in depth look at Nick and a small glimpse into his past. The writing is amazing and clever. There is a bit of dark humor sprinkled into this issue. It’s also very nice to see Morrison writing something original again.
At the end, however, it leaves me wondering how the story will be wrapped up with just two issues left. The story still feels like there is a lot to tell and the blue horse seems to have his work cut out for him if he wants to convince Nick to help save Hailey. Nonetheless, the issues don’t feel like Morrison is trying to cram too much into them. I love the pace of the book with its mixture of action in the beginning and heavy dialog closer to the end. Morrison is doing a really interesting series with Happy beyond the genre mixing. He is telling a truly adult story in a fairy tale fashion.
If you haven’t picked up Happy then I highly recommend it. There seems to be a lot of amazing things coming out of Image comics and indie publishers in general. It’s a great time to read indie comics if you are sick of the traditional comic book rehashes. Happy is just one of the great books currently coming out of Image.