Picture it: the 41st century. Earth is the central power in all the universe, yet its rulers have little influence on the far-out reaches of space. Tyrants rule, wars are fought, and liberty is all but lost as both the oppressed and their would-be saviors die in the crossfire. What can one person do in the face of such reckless abandon? Enter Barbarella.
Known far and wide for her distinctive brand of diplomacy (think of it as sexy negotiations), Barbarella is recruited by a pair of anti-establishment freedom fighters to use her skills to encourage peace and put an end to the constant bloodshed. Naturally she agrees and is soon off to make a difference, promoting love and freedom wherever she can. Accompanied by an angelic AI and an adorable space fox, the “Siren of Space” makes her way to the artificial world of Camelot, where something very wrong is transpiring.
Writer Sarah Hoyt delivers a story that bridges high-concept sci-fi with soul and emotion. The idea of stopping war with love might seem hokey but it worked in Wonder Woman (2017) and it works here, too. At least kinda. One of Barbarella’s chief weapons is sex, which is used to great (and tastefully subtle) effect during one such mission; however, a less than successful mission is all but glossed over. Both scenes amount to little more than a montage, ans her rescue of Vix, the aforementioned fox, is implied to be important, but it’s never revealed why. It may just be a mystery for another issue, but the way it’s presented makes it seem like an afterthought. While the overall plotting is serviceable, the dialogue and pacing leave a lot to be desired, as well.
Much like the character herself, Barbarella #1 is very easy on the eyes, thanks to the artistic talents of Madibek Musabekov and Ivan Nunes. Musabekov displays an incredible range, conveying emotion and depth in every character, while depicting a variety of worlds in a grand scale. His Barbarella is a true goddess, looking like she was literally poured into her red catsuit. She’s sexy in all the ways she should be, but in a classy-not-gratuitous way. Nunes’s colors makes the book truly come alive, bringing an energy that just elevates every page. Despite the occasional overly-long arm or awkward stance, the book really is gorgeous to behold.
It’s too soon to tell if this series will match the quality or success of Dynamite’s previous volume written by Mike Carey, but there’s enough potential to warrant a second look when the next issue hits, especially if you’re a fan of likable characters and fun retro-space concepts. If nothing else, Barbarella is a damn fine-looking book, as is its leading lady.
- Writer: Sarah Hoyt
- Artist: Madibek Musabekov
- Colorist: Ivan Nunes
- Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
- Cover Artist (Main): Lucio Parrillo
- Editor: Matt Idelson
- Consulting Editor: Jean-Marc Lofficier
- Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment