Happy marks a very different writing direction for rock-star comic book creator, Grant Morrison. For starters, you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a Mark Millar comic with the amount of coarse language contained within. On the first page alone the C-Bomb is dropped three times and this sets the pace for what is a comic filled with foul language, violence and sexually explicit scenes. Heads up, if this sort of thing disturbs or offends you then you will probably want to give Happy a miss.
The same Morrison magic that made Action Comics and Batman seem so real and yet at the same time fantastical is now used to bring a world of dirty cops, mafia and prostitutes to life. Perhaps what makes Happy such an explicit and disturbing read is the fact that Morrison writes it so well.
The story follows Nick Sax, an ex-cop who now works as a sort of freelance hitman. After a hit goes wrong, Nick takes a bullet to the shoulder and winds up in a mob controlled hospital where he meets a blue cartoon unicorn by the name of Happy who only he can see. Happy provides a bizarre contrast to the gritty criminal underworld portrayed by Darick Robertson’s art. Although a lot of the comic feels very much like your cliché crime fare, Happy the horse provides the story with a true spark of originality.
I have no doubt that Morrison will use the stark contrast between Happy and the real world to make some sort of powerful statement in the following three issues. The question in my mind is how, and I’m looking forward to having this question answered.
In itself, Happy Issue One really does not warrant any attention. However what does warrant attention is Morrison’s reputation and history of writing great comics. With that in mind I’ll stick my neck out here and give Happy a 7/10.