Monday, January 08, 2018

Barbarella Is Captured

Barbarella #1 (Dynamite, 2017, $3.99)
While I've not yet seen the 1968 movie Barbarella starring Jane Fonda, its place in pop culture is secure, and the film itself was based on a 1964 French comic by Jean-Claude Forest. Now, Dynamite is bringing a licensed comic adaptation to a new (perhaps) generation of science fiction fan and comics reader.

Written by Mike Carey and drawn by Kenan Yarar, this issue is mostly a straight-forward science-fiction adventure, with some mature elements. Barbarella is captured by the uber-religious (think Warhammer 40,000 reglious) Parosians after she drops into normal space because of a ship malfunction.

Because she is a healthy-bodied female—something the Parosians find sacrilegious—she is taken to the body looms and sent to a prison labor camp. There, she meets Quire, who is actually a spy.

Yarar's art is excellent for a science fiction story and reminiscent of a bande dessinee. There are some erotic moments bordering on the flip or gratuitous ("I have a fully functional vagina. That's not a crime."), and the sensual art (pp. 14-16)—though involving women—seems oriented toward a male audience. While not as subtle as the erotic undertones of Hack/Slash Vs. Vampirella, those aspects don't distract from the comic overall, and it can be read largely as a space adventure.

Recommended not just to fans of Barbarella, but to science fiction fans generally!

Availability: This issue is available online. We also recommend Barbarella : Barbarella and The Wrath of the Minute-Eater.

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