An eight issue limited series published by Vertigo, written by Grant Morrison, and drawn by Sean Murphy.
Joe is a boy with problems. His father died in the Iraq war, It's likely that he and his mom are going to get kicked out of their house due to trouble at the bank, he doesn't fit in at school, he's bullied because of this and his artistic talent, and he suffers from Type 1 diabetes. His only form of solace seems to be his pet rat Jack, and his incredibly vivid imagination.
It's only after one evening when bullies steal a candy bar that Joe needs to maintain his sugar levels he began to hallucinate an entirely new world, one of soldier toys, cowardly wizards and nautical dwarves, and a prophesy that speaks of "The Dying Boy". He comes into such a world that is rapidly dying from the encroachment of a darkness that he knows in a way.
With nothing but a zap gun and and his pet (now a towering warrior rat in armor and wielding a BFS), Joe goes on a journey to restore light to the land and climb out of his blood-sugar induced hallucinations.
Morrison stated that in the other wiki that when writing the story he was aiming for a "real proper kind of 'Lord of the Rings,''Alice in Wonderland' all-ages story for today."
Needs a Better Description: General writing tweaks
This comic series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: ZYXY
- Adventures in Comaland: The basic concept, as Joe spends most of the story dying of hypoglycaemia.
- And You Were There
- Big Damn Heroes: Several waves of them, made of people Joe had encountered previously
- Eyepatch of Power: Draka the pirate
- Expy: Subverted and played straight. While some of Joe's toys just bear resemblance to popular comic book and tv characters, most of them are the real deal—but in toy form.
- Fake Crossover: Gray Ghost from Batman: The Animated Series appears in two cameos.
- Five-Man Band
- If I Do Not Return: Joe attempts this.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Done in a manner similar to The Indian in the Cupboard.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The story of Joe and his companions on their quest to defeat King Death and the saga of Joe in the real world trying to work his way downstairs so he can drink the soda that will cure his hypoglycemia and trip the breaker in the cellar to turn the lights back on are intercut, making it unclear if Joe is experiencing life in two different worlds simultaneously or if he's hallucinating his quest entirely
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The sewer dwarves look fairly conventional, but are submarine-using pirates who eat what they can capture in the drains
- Sanity Slippage: Inverted with Joe.
- Splash Panel: Several
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Chakk/Jack used to be the coward among his brothers, but proves he is a mighty warrior.
- Joe takes one as a well.