When Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson do a creator-owned comic, you know you're going to be in for some shocks. HAPPY is not your ordinary comic. Of course with Grant Morrison's track record and Darick's recent work on THE BOYS, you wouldn't expect it to be.
Despite the title, this isn't a touchy-feely comic. You'll find right away on the first page that this is a gritty comic full of graphic scenes, situations and language. There won't be any holding back when it comes to telling the story here.
Centering around Nick Sax, a former cop-turned-hitman determined to take down some mafia members, you can imagine what level of violence we you can expect. While graphic at times, it's Robertson's art with Richard P. Clark's colors that make the detailed pages look spectacular. I've always been a fan of Robertson but his art has never looked better. With Darick inking his own pencils, you really get a sense of what he's trying to convey on these pages.
Before this is dismissed as another vigilante versus the mob comic, it's much more than that. The opening pages are indeed full of violence and profanity but there comes a point where you will actually start feeling happy. It'd be a shame to spoil what development occurs but if you've heard anything about the plot or noticed the blue feathers on the cover, you have an idea what the angle is here. Morrison and Robertson are not just doing a mob violence comic. They are setting the stage for an incredibly trippy and distinctive ride in the form of a comic book.
Being a mature comic, there is a high volume of...adult themes. This could easily be an immediate turn off for some readers. The story does have to be set up and there shouldn't be any holding back if this is what this comic book world is meant to be like. I'm not offended by the profanity or situations but it came across almost as filler in order to get to the appearance of Happy.
There's also the fact that this is sort of a mix of two different types of genres. The grittness and appearance of Happy along with this being the first issue makes you wonder what we're going to get in the rest of the series.
HAPPY is setting out to be something different and it succeeds in that. Morrison and Robertson hit the ground running and are not holding back in their storytelling. Even with a title like "Happy," the opening pages are as far from that emotion as you can get. We get a close look at the grittiness, violence and mature situations that are often associated with stories involving the mafia. Getting past the opening will bring you to a different type of story once you see who or what Happy actually is. It's hard to exactly pinpoint what we'll get in the rest of this series but there's no denying the interest that has been captured based on Happy's design. If you're looking for a comic that isn't going to hold back, Morrison and Robertson want to make you happy.