Barbarella –New series continues the intergalactic adventures of Jean-Claude Forest’s 1960s heroine

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Review by C.J. Bunce

After an earlier, year-long reboot series, a holiday special, and a great mash-up with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Dejah Thoris, space vixen Barbarella gets a new monthly series at Dynamite Entertainment beginning this month.  Following writers Mike Carey, Jean-Marc Lofficier, and Leah Williams, the future of the cult sci-fi icon in the new series Barbarella is in the hands of Portuguese-American sci-fi writer Sarah Hoyt in her first comic book series with artwork supplied by Madibek Musabekov.  The big news comic book collectors will want to be aware of is a variant cover by Brian Bolland, his first for Dynamite.  Despite the prior, more adult-themed incarnations of Barbarella, the monthly series is targeted at teen+ audiences, and the racy bits are only suggestive.  But that doesn’t stop Musabekov from creating some daring–and goofy–futurist artwork, and a host of cover artists stepping up to give sci-fi fans something for everyone.

Check out covers for the first three issues of the new Barbarella series below.

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The start of this series is a more tempered take on the risqué Barbarella of the Jean-Claude Forest 1960s comics, and also not the cutesy space-farer of the Dejas Thoris crossover series.  Musabekov draws the heroine at times to look like Valerie Perrine, Tricia Helfer, and Yvonne Strahovski, and some cover art could pass for Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer (none like Jane Fonda from the movie).  So the artists appear to have had fun with this project.

Barbarella is called in by a group of intergalactic freedom fighters who are tired of killing to make peace.  At first, in a fun montage, she proves unsuccessful, but she picks up a sidekick in the form of a space fox named Vix (which Musabekov cleverly draws with a blend of French icon Luc Besson’s cute Melo the transmuter/converter in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and the Star Wars comics hoojibs).  Barbarella also gets a protector in the form of a holo-angel named Taln.  With these two at her side, can she fulfill the mission of the freedom fighters?

Overall the first issue is a bit of a slow start with not a lot of action, and a choppy script, but Musabekov gets the visual style right, and the introductory issue may be an effort to set up the ground work for a longer, eventually more dynamic, series for Dynamite.  Issue #1 shows enough potential to get readers back for the second issue.

Here are some covers for the first three issues (also available are cosplay covers and a blank #1 cover), with artwork by Lucio Parillo, Derrick Chew, Brian Bolland, Carla Cohen, Mike Krome, artists Dani and Celina, and interior artist Musabekov, whose cover style is not surprisingly the best pairing with the tone of the series:

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Colorist on the series is Ivan Nunes and lettering is by Carlos Mangual.

Check out Issue #1 of the new Barbarella next week at Elite Comics or your local comic book store.

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