Barbarella, a long running comic book series published first in 1962 by the French Magazine V, is probably best known in the United States for the film of the same name starring Jane Fonda. The over-sexed, go-go boot wearing space adventurer has changed very little from then to now and Barbarella #12 is a worthy addition to this iconic line.
In this issue of Barbarella; we, the readers, continue to follow the adventures of Barbarella as she criss-cross’s space. As the issue opens, Barbarella awakens to an emergency on board her ship. She abandons the mortally damaged ship but is struck by the oddness of the situation. Realizing that there is something wrong she wakes up in bed, sans clothes, with a past lover. As he beckons her back to sleep or other activities, she once again realizes that something is off about THIS situation. Determined to wake up from these dreams or hallucinations, she charges her blaster and shoots herself with it. This time she finds herself in an odd, Barbarella themed adventure park. The park is deserted, ramshackle, and smells faintly of decay; convincing Barbarella that she has at last landed in reality. As she begins to investigate her surroundings she finds that all is not as it seems. In fact, there are elements within the park that are intent on killing her. Barbarella manages to avoid the traps, win the battles, and unravel the mystery of her surroundings; all while looking good and being sexy and seductive. Eventually she finds an old enemy she thought dead. This enemy, intent on revenge, thinks he has fabricated a full proof plan to destroy Barbarella; notwithstanding that it will mean his demise as well. Always having a plan in place, she escapes danger then finds a planet on which to picnic at the end of the issue.
This issue of Barbarella is action packed, sexy, entertaining and a load of fun. Although Barbarella is facing danger you never truly worry for her. She is the ever constant survivor; the one who gets away with a wink and a smile before landing in a seductive pose, her hair blowing perfectly into place. I can imagine it would be tempting to overwrite a property like Barbarella. However, Mike Carey has stayed true to the source material and presented an issue that builds upon what has come before while providing new adventure to savor and enjoy. The artwork is good. However, if I could have one thing I would wish that the are was more dynamic. Additionally, I wish that there was more gloss and glamour to aid in bringing this iconic character to the page in all her glory. That said, the artwork does convey the story well. The color palette hints at the series’ Sixties roots and one hopes that at some point the art team might explore that further, delving deeper into the psychedelic nature of artwork from that period. In short this was an enjoyable book and a worthy read for fans of the series.
Writing 4 of 5 Stars
Art 3.5 of 5 Stars
Writer – Mike Carey
Art – Kenan Yarar, Jorge Fornes
Color – Mohan, Celeste Woods
Letters – Crank!