Tales from the Vault-Verse: Barbaric

Dan gets all meta as he takes a dive into the Vault-verse!


This may be the first time we are meeting or the hundredth but my name is Daniel McMahon. I’m the Lead Anchor on the GC52 News Network. I know most of you are more accustomed to seeing me on your televisions through the Multiverse but this is something different. I am diving back into my journalistic roots after being on the air for so long. But I’m getting ahead of myself, I need to explain what this is first. 

A few weeks ago I was approached by these 2 mysterious bearded brothers only referring to themselves as the Wassels. They told me that there was so much more beyond the worlds of Dark Knights and Super Men. To be honest, I was a little nervous as to how they were waiting for me outside the office but they offered me the keys to what they called “The Vault”. The key is actually a device called “The Combination” which looks like an intricate dial lock but it’s actually a sentient supercomputer (Sort of like the Motherbox from our world). I don’t know who programmed it but it said my wrist was the “thickest” it’s ever been. Still don’t know if that was a jab or if it was hitting on me so I guess we’ll see.

So as any good journalist would, I am making that leap into the unknown regions of the multiverse to travel between these different Vault worlds to meet the people and creatures that inhabit them. So with that… I am heading to some sort of world of swords and sorcery… Have I ever mentioned that I hate Magic? Gives me the willies…

Interview with Owen and…Axe?

When I first arrived on the planet, it was clear I was dreadfully unprepared so I grabbed a cloak from a corpse. Listen, no one ever said journalism was glamorous. Turns out the stack of bodies I was rummaging through was the refuse pile from a sort of coliseum. I found a free seat by the time they introduced someone called “The Barbarian”, which felt a bit dehumanizing. 

But it was quickly clear as day that he was someone I would want to chat with. I don’t know how many gladiatorial battles you have watched but most don’t play out like this one. With the main combatant letting one person get away and killing the person running the show… so I followed this Barbarian from the coliseum and to a nearby watering hole. I heard people whispering about how he was cursed in some sort of way that he can only kill evil-doers so I had to know more.

When I first approached him in the corner he pretty much claimed it as his own, his hand quickly went for his axe. After I offered to buy him drinks to start his night off, he was more inclined to speak with me. (Thank you corpse pile for your endless bounty). I started the interview off with an easy one…

Do you prefer Owen or the flashier title of THE BARBARIAN?

Owen: I prefer you pay my bar tab like you promised. You can call me Sally after that. But only once, because my name is Owen. It rhymes with about as many cool words as “barbarian” does, so good luck writing a song about me. You are a bard, right?


Before we get into the heavier things, I do have to ask… what’s your favorite sandwich?

Owen: According to this stupid curse of mine, where I HAVE to do the right thing, all the time, I eat evil for lunch. But when I’m not eating that, fried bologna will do just fine.

Right, okay Owen, so how have things been since the whole being cursed thing? 

Owen: I wouldn’t say great. I mean, look: I’m a friggin barbarian. Roaming the lands doing whatever the hell we please is our thing. But now I have rules. And a moral code. And other made-up things that basically say I can never have any damn fun.

I heard a rumor about town that you can only kill the wicked… what’s that like? 

Owen: I guess it’s not all bad. The fact is, if you’re such a piece of shit that you find me and my Axe on your doorstep, odds are not a whole lot of people are going to try and avenge your death. That alone saves me a lot of hassle. Otherwise…eh. It’s fine. Better than no killing at all. And it’s not like there’s so many good people in the world that I’m ever in want of someone to axe.

Well, to be frank, it seems like a real shit deal. Can you at least like sin and stuff still? All the fun stuff in life is probably a sin to some god…

Owen: Don’t even get me started. Used to be a time when a few bits of coin would get me companionship for the night, now–

Axe: It’s not moral. It simply is not. Do we really have to go over this again?

Owen: <mumbles> You can go over it all you like when I dump you into the bottom of a well.

Axe: Excuse me? Something to say, Owen?

Hold the fuck on, did that Axe just speak? I may have had a few drinks before walking over here but they couldn’t have been that strong.

Owen: Did Axe just speak? Try getting him to shut up! All he does is talk. I’m surprised we’ve gone on this long without him yapping his flap.

This has to be the weirdest interview yet… what do I call you.. Axeimas, Axeathan, or like Axey? 

Axe: Don’t get cute, kid. Or maybe I’ll do a little check on your moral background, see if I should put the barbarian to work. 

Well, pleasure to meet you Axe. I guess my usual sandwich question doesn’t work for you… what do you even eat?

Axe: Blood. I feast on human blood, and then I get fucked up. It’s the greatest thing in the world. 

 So you two are a team of sorts?

Owen: Yeah, we’re your classic “cursed barbarian and sentient axe who’s a moral compass” duo.

Axe: Maybe we need a name for a team. I kinda like “Axe and some other guy.”

What’s your working relationship like?

Owen: We’re bound together by dark magic that can never be broken. I’d say we’re a work in progress. 

Axe: But on the bright side, we might both be immortal, so we have plenty of time to work out the kinks. 

Owen: Never have I wanted to die more.

What kind of adventures do you go on?

Owen: We don’t! I do my best to go by undetected so I can avoid adventures and quests and all that other bullshit. But then my good friend over here always has to be sticking his nose–or whatever the hell’s on his face–where it doesn’t belong. 

Axe: <laughing maniacally>

Anything fun on your agendas in the near future?

Axe: I hear some hack named Poreci or Moregreasy or whatever wrote a comic about us, so I guess we’re about to be dealing with newfound fame and glory. 

That’s how comics work, right? 


I could tell he was getting a little bit more testy as the interview went on so I had to excuse myself as I heard the shouts from outside about some sort of Witch. One could only assume that someone saw me rooting around in the pile of corpses… Owen seems like a nice fellow with some major issues that he’s going to need to work out.

Barbaric #1 by Michael Moreci, Nathan C. Gooden, Addison Duke, Jim Campbell, and Tim Daniel is out on June 16th from Vault Comics, call your LCS today and add it to your pull! Thank you to Michael Moreci for Owen and Axe’s answers. Thank you to the Wassels for the device and support of playing in your sandbox.

5 replies on “Tales from the Vault-Verse: Barbaric”

[…] The two make a wonderful pair, enhanced by a creative team that clearly loves the dynamic of snarky weapon and grumpy wielder. Writer Michael Moreci’s topical humor is as slick as the blood that artist Nathan Gooden and colorist Addison Duke splash and smear all over the pages. Jim Campbell’s lettering and creative balloon choices round out the visuals, with sound effects punching through panels. […]

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