Barbarella/Dejah Thoris issue 1

Barbarella/Dejah Thoris #1

Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: German Garcia
Colorist: Addison Duke
Letterer: Crank!

Review by Brendan Hykes

I’ll admit that neither Barbarella nor Dejah Thoris are characters that I’m especially familiar with. From what I do know about these characters, however, this sounded like an interesting crossover. In that regard, Barbarella/Dejah-Thoris #1 did not disappoint. The issue opens with Barbarella visiting a scientist who is not as alive as she’d expected. The scientist has left a trail to a “magic mirror” artifact that Barbarella steps through. Meanwhile, Dejah Thoris is on a scientific expedition in the desert, and unearths an identical artifact. She is pulled through the “magic mirror,” and the two meet.

The odd-couple formula exists for a reason, because it almost always works. And writer Leah Williams puts it to good use in this issue. Dejah Thoris is a princess, and her royal upbringing is clear in her demeanor, while Barbarella is obviously a more swashbuckling free spirit. That’s not to imply that either is a one-dimensional character. We can feel that Dejah Thoris carries the weight of her kingdom on her shoulders, and Barbarella is presented as much as a scholar as anything else. Their scientific curiosity is one thing they clearly have in common.

The main critique I have of the writing is that it feels a bit over-written at times. There are some very dialogue-heavy scenes, and that dialogue is almost always over-expository. Sometimes it comes off as fun, deliberately playing with the wordiness, but most of the time it serves to bog down the story.

But even on the rare occasions when the dialogue slows the pace, the art never falters. Artist German Garcia’s style is fresh and fun. The characters are expressive, even when they’re tentacle-faced aliens. The action flows smoothly, and the settings are rich with fantastic-looking sci-fi tech and vivid backgrounds. And the colors by Addison Duke go a long way in bringing this book to life. The range of settings, from a lush alien jungle to the deserts of Barsoom and more (don’t want to spoil the ending!), make for a vibrant read.

Verdict: Buy it!

The art alone in Barbarella/Dejah-Thoris #1 is worth the price of admission. This story is gearing up to be an exciting ride through two classic sci-fi worlds.

Brendan Hykes
Brendan is a writer, father and lifelong Pittsburgher. Also weirdly obsessed with puzzles. He can mostly be found on twitter @brendanhykes.

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