• Barbarella #2

    1-10-18 Barbarella #2
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: January 10th, 2018.
    Written by: Mike Carey
    Illustrated by: Kenen Yarar
    Purchase From Amazon

    When we last left Barbarella, she and her new friend Jury were busting out of a Parosian prison. This second issue picks up right where that first left off, with the two freefalling, a horde of razor doves attacking them. Barbarella manages to get ahold of one of the doves and, once Jury grabs her leg, the additional weight causes the device to slowly lose altitude allowing the women to safely land… by crashing through a window in the middle of the city. As this happens, Jury’s internal narration tells us a few things – Barbarella seems human, but she has some odd traits – she doesn’t seem particularly susceptible to the heat that the razor dove gave off and she’s stronger, more agile than a normal human.

    Now in the heart of enemy territory, a ‘house of pertinence,’ they realize they don’t have much time and need to continue to find a way out. They make their way through what looks like a huge old cathedral they come across a room where robots flagellate themselves, their pain passed on via conduits to the human ‘end-users.’ When they find a room with some robes in it, they decide to disguise themselves as nuns to aid their escape. They make it out and Jury decides they need to find a place to lay low for a while so she can contact another cell. Jury gets Barbarella some new ID and a weapon and they make their way by bus through the city to a farm that was once a spaceport.

    They rest at an inn when, shortly after their arrival, a Parosian priest arrives, noticing the two nuns. Before he can make contact with them, he’s overrun by peasants requesting his divine healing, allowing the two ladies to make contact with Ix Pendrum from Cell 49 and escape. Pendrum doesn’t trust Barbarella, but they eventually make it to Cell 49 where she learns the backstory of his robot assistatnt Kettlesmith, how he met Pendrum while working as a veterinarian, while Pendrum removes ‘a package’ from Jury’s shoulder.

    This second issue expands on the same themes that made the first issue so interesting – the idea of a society ruled entirely by religion to the point where even the robots take part in the ritual, the fusion of humans and robots, the advance of technology juxtaposed with a rampant distrust of science and, of course, the morality of war. For what on the surface looks like a cheesecake style sci-fi comic, Mike Carey’s take on Barbarella is surprisingly heavy and impressively high concept. It’s very well written, adding a nice layer of mystery to the main characters in this issue while giving the story plenty of forward momentum. There’s certainly a few layers to the story, the surface level adventure story and then them more intriguing political satire aspect of it. They mesh really nicely and this proves to be an engaging and entertaining read.

    The artwork from Kenen Yarar, colored by Mohan, is as impressive here as it was in the first chapter. There’s a LOAD of detail in each panel, making every page a treat for the eyes and the kind of book that you want to take your time with. They layouts are solid, the character design is fantastic, particularly when it comes to the costumes that the different Parosian characters wear. There’s also some really impressive architecture in here, the design work that goes into making the planet look the way that it does is quirky, creative and just seriously cool to look at. The colors compliment this all quite nicely.