Barbarella has been manipulated, lied to and used. Someone is going to pay. Your Major Spoilers review of Barbarella #9 awaits!
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Kenan Yarar
Editor: Jean-Marc Lofficier
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 22, 2018
Previously in Barbarella: Barbarella has been lied to. Worse, she’s been weaponized, and someone’s going to answer for that, for sure. (Well, assuming she survives the judgement of the Esseverine sun-giants, and an armada of a thousand ships…)
SOME PRETTY HARD SCIENCE FICTION
We open with not one, but THREE of that galaxy’s most dangerous assassins arriving at Barbarella’s futuristic home to take her out, only to find themselves outmaneuvered by a stranger in a cloak. The stranger kills all three of them, then reveals herself as Barbarella’s old friend/love Jury Quire, who has a mission that only Barb can complete. A terrible plague has broken out among an alien race, and the political mess of treaties makes it impossible for Earth to directly interfere and deliver the cure. Of course, an independent agent like Barbarella, could do it easily, once she’s fitted with a special suit that will allow her to exist within the corona of a sun. Once outfitted, she makes her way to the Firu Fenzu system, where her welcome is not as warm as it might have been, despite the eleven-million-degree heat. Once desperate leap for safety later, Barbarella is unconscious and lost… inside a sun.
REALLY LOVING THIS LUSH ART
The art in this issue is amazing, the kind of illustration that I used to see in ‘Heavy Metal’ or ‘Epic Magazine’ back in my youth. It really feels like fully-painted European rendering, which seems appropriate for the character. We also get an extended sequence wherein our hero is fitted with an invisible nanometer-thin suit that shows some surprisingly hard science fiction chops (and also highlights her wonderful figure.) Carey’s story is complex and really makes it feel like we’ve entered a fully-developed future world where everyone has their own agenda ans personalities, setting up the conflict and the humanitarian aid mission with subtlety. We are delivered a lot of information in a short time, but rather than feeling cramped or like an infodump, we learn it as Barbarella does, and even the sequence of her reading about this strange world and the virus that has ravaged it is visually pleasant.
BOTTOM LINE: AN ENTERTAINING READ
I also really enjoy the lettering in this issue, which is very delicate and uses square word balloons, adding a great deal to the experience. Somehow the unusual lettering helps to keep the strange future setting feeling alien and science fiction-y… I had worried that this book would be all fanservice and sexy poses, but I was absolutely wrong. Barbarella #9 features a well-developed world, some fascinating alien races and worlds and really excellent art throughout, as well as a nice balance of pretty girls in tight clothes to science fiction, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. It’s the kind of book that makes me curious about the source material, making it the best kind of adaptation.