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It was a swing that paid off.
In 2021, Vault Comics put out Barbaric, a comic book featuring a talking demonic ax and Owen, a barbarian looking for redemption. It proved to be a surprise, massive hit for the indie publisher, selling over 250,000 copies to date.
Barbaric has now set the company on a path of expanding the title into franchise territory. It is not only planning new and multiple arcs for the main Barbaric book but also launching a special and a novelization.
And this spring, it will also debut its first Barbaric spinoff, Queen of Swords. The story centers on a barbarian, an assassin, and a witch who form an uneasy alliance in order to obtain a magical relic. And yes, there is another demonically possessed weapon, in this case, a sassy talking sword. Vault is describing the book as Red Sonja meets Dungeons & Dragons.
Michael Moreci is writing the miniseries while Corin Howell, who is known for her covers in the indie comics sphere, is handling the interior art. Nathan Gooden, the Vault co-founder who co-created Barbaric and is the artist of the main series, remains involved in helping to shape the story and works with Gooden on world and character design.
“Queen of Swords is the perfect vehicle for expanding and enriching the world that Nate and I started with Barbaric,” Moreci tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It carries the same sword and sorcery mayhem and humor of the original title while giving it a fresh spin with a new cast of characters. We’ve got a lot of surprises in store for this series, and this is just the beginning. My ambitions for Barbaric are big.”
Gooden says Swords will delve more into necromancy than the mainline book. “It will have more demons and magic and skeletons,” Gooden says. “We’re going to focus really on one magic system and one part of that grand world.”
Swords is part of what Vault has dubbed Year of the Axe, which includes two new Barbaric arcs, an oversize one-shot written by fantasy author Nicholas Eames. Issue No. 2 of Barbaric: Hell to Pay hits stores today.
Queen of Swords No. 1 will go on sale in May. Check out a preview of the issue below.
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