Modernized Space Girl: Barbarella, Volume 1

First, some caveats about this review of the new Barbarella comic written by Mike Carey: I’ve never seen the Jane Fonda movie, so I watched the trailer to get a feel for it because it felt like a necessary entry point.

I also read the first volume of the classic comics by Jean-Claude Forest so that I’d have a baseline to compare against the rebooted series. From a writing standpoint, I’d say that the two versions of Barbarella are on close to equal footing, but the art in the modern version just does not do the character justice.

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Infinitely French: Infinity 8, Volume 1

If I didn’t already know that Infinity 8 is a French comic, reading it would make that crystal clear. It has a French feel about it, from the art reminiscent of Moebius, to the laconic dialogue scenes, to (most tellingly) the glimpse of casual nudity and the protagonist who wears a skin-tight spacesuit straight out of 1950s pinup illustrations.

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Insert Gritty Reboot: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

Maybe Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie would have resonated for me a bit more if I’d ever read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. Instead, I’ve only ever seen their cover illustrations and imagined the sort of squeaky-clean peril they might get themselves into. I think, though, that I still wouldn’t have gotten much from this too-serious gritty reimagining of the classic teen mysteries.

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Glitterbomb: Red Carpet Bomb

Glitterbomb, Volume 1: Red Carpet Written by: Jim Zub Line Art by: Djibril Morissette-Phan Colors by: K. Michael Russell Published: March 7th 2017 Publisher: Image Comics Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Horror, Satire Format: Paperback Length: 136 pages I’ve lived in Los Angeles for just over three and a half years now, so obviously that means I …

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Suburban Weirdness, Circa 1988: Paper Girls, Vol 1

Paper Girls feels like a forgotten 1980s adventure that piles on the subversive twists. They don’t make movies like that anymore, let alone ones this weird. I think the technical term here is “box office poison,” and yet I’d love to see Paper Girls up on the big screen. It begs for the kind of lovingly nostalgic adaptation that could only work with modern special effects and sensibilities.

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Kaptara: Finest Pulped Space Comedy

Kaptara is very weird and very funny. Both come with the territory whenever Chip Zdarsky is at the helm, but Kaptara makes Zdarsky’s work on Howard the Duck seem downright traditional. At a basic level, Kaptara is a foul-mouthed piss-take version of classic pulpy scifi adventure stories, but it also features a diverse cast and bizarre, gorgeous art.

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Empty Inside: The Beauty, Volume 1

The Beauty Volume 1 has one cool idea and not much else: there is a new sexually transmitted disease that makes you beautiful. If you contract it, you become young, thin and pretty within minutes. The only apparent side effect is a constant low-level fever, so people go out of their way to get infected. It isn’t long before half the population has The Beauty.

There are factions who object to The Beauty for political and religious reasons, but the real problem is that people with The Beauty are starting to spontaneously combust and nobody knows why. When a woman combusts in public, two police detectives (one of whom is infected) try to find an explanation. They are opposed by government officials trying to cover it up and a shady pharmaceutical CEO who just wants to make a profit. The story turns into a by-the-numbers conspiracy thriller/mystery after only a few pages.

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The Private Eye is Weird Neo-Noir for Luddites

Brian K. Vaughan might be one of the busiest writers in comics, and every new project he announces is weirder than the last. The Private Eye was the first series published through Panel Syndicate, a digital-only, DRM-free, pay-what-you-want imprint that releases comics designed specifically for tablets.

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