Barbarella #1

by Olivier Roth on December 08, 2017

Writer: Mike Carey

Artist: Kenan Yarar

Colorist: Mohan

Published by: Dynamite


Dynamite introduces another property to their ever-expanding line-up with the debut issue of Barbarella #1. Based on the movie of the same name, this comic boasts probably one of my favorite writers of the late “aughts” in Mike Carey. I know him primarily from his excellent run on X-Men and his Vertigo series Unwritten Tales, but others may remember his excellent turn with Lucifer, also from Vertigo. Knowing this, I had some pretty high expectations going into this series and for a debut issue, a lot of those expectations were met.   


The story begins as we see an alien race, who can only be described as religious fanatics, waging war against an at the time, unknown enemy spouting some of the most ridiculously religious nonsense as they are “smiting” their enemies. This they do, all while singing a hymn. After they completely annihilate their enemy, they discover this one, completely random spaceship that emerges from the wreckage. Not taking any chances, they proceed to capture it and discover Barbarella onboard.


From there, things get Weird with a capital W as they proceed to arrest Barbarella for reasons only known to them.


What I really enjoyed from this first issue is that Barbarella is essentially in the wrong place at the absolute wrong time and this is very reminiscent of movies such as Mad Max and Big Trouble in Little China: the main hero(ine) is placed in a situation not of their making against an enemy that really wasn’t their enemy until they met. The fact that she gets arrested and thrown in jail for the dumbest of reasons - but it does have, very unfortunately, some basis in reality - provides some interesting turns to the story.


On art, Yarar has a very unique style that you don’t often see in North American comics these days (unless in the very indie comics). His work reminds me a lot about some old school european comics and would seem to fit the aesthetic found in comics like 2000 A.D. Saying that, it fits perfectly in Barbarella’s world: it’s crazy sci-fi, pulpy goodness.


In conclusion, this was a fun debut issue for Carey and Yarar. I was expecting quite a bit from Carey due to his previous work, and was pleasantly surprised by Yarar’s art. I will warn though, for a comic from Dynamite, there is quite a bit of nudity in this issue that I was not expecting, so reader beware.

Our Score:


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