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Barbarella / Dejah Thoris #1 Review

3 min read

A most curious pairing.

Creative Staff:
Story: Leah Williams
Art: German Garcia
Colors: Addison Duke
Letterer: Crank!

What They Say:
From opposite ends of time, two heroines unite for an otherworldly adventure! Barbarella, the siren of space, meets Dejah Thoris, Princess of Barsoom, and together they must solve a murder mystery that spans time and space in order to find their way home. Leah Williams (Adventure Time Comics, X-Men: Black) teams with Germán García (Action Comics, X-men) for a fun, deadly, mind-bending epic!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Dynamite Entertainment definitely has fun in pairing up its various properties in ways that you wouldn’t expect and Dejah Thoris has had a fair bit of it lately. The character whose ongoing ended recently has been dealing with Vampirella in another series and now has to contend with Barbarella. I’m a big fan of the recently ended series for her as well and this one brings in Leah Williams to write as she captures a really neat take on the character. But it’s the pairing with artist German Garcia that wins me over even more as they give Barbarella such a distinct personality very quickly that I’m already jonesing for a standalone miniseries by this team for both characters.

The book is split in half until the two come together toward the end and it works well. The opening gives us Barbarella coming to meet a famous scientist who has done immense good but has made many enemies over his lifetime because of it. Dr. Gitu sets things so that Barbarella has a mission to follow when she does get there and discovers that he, as the last of his kind, has offered up something intriguing. It’s engaging in watching how she narrates the experience and Garcia’s design with her expression and face, in general, is just utterly delightful. So when she does discover this mirror/door that’s functioning there, the almost innocent naive look about her as she gets closer and ends up going through is pitch perfect.

For Dejah, her time is very different as we see her on Barsoom some 10,000 years prior to Barbarella’s event. She’s doing research that’s not panning out in a salt plain that has no salt in it but it results in the discovery of the same kind of doorway. Dejah has a solid commanding feel about herself here and some frustrations with herself as well, which gets complicated when she’s practically pulled into the mirror to a completely new place. Both of these characters have really distinctive personalities and figuring out where they are in this darkened place is just a fascinating experience with the dialogue Williams gives them, especially in touching upon the dead language of Barsoom and that Barbarella knows it through how she’s designed. It’s a small moment but it provides some really neat context amid the larger events that are getting ready to unfold.

In Summary:
I enjoyed a good Dejah Thoris story and I’m still riding the high of the recent Barbarella series. I really lamented seeing that go but I’m also nearly instantly in love with Williams and Garcia’s interpretation of her. The story is the most basic of setups at the moment as it’s all about bringing them together without explaining the larger mystery and that’s fine. Both of their worlds and lives feel fully realized in this form for what we need to know about them and their first interactions together highlight their core personality traits even more. Garcia’s artwork is definitely strong here and I’m excited to see more of how the characters are going to be brought to life and the worlds that they inhabit.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 9th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99

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