Barbarella (character)

Barbarella le Semble-Lune.jpg
Barbarella: Le Semble-Lune (1977) published by Pierre Horay; cover art by Jean-Claude Forest
Character information
Created byJean-Claude Forest
In-story information
Full nameBarbarella
Publication information
V Magazine
Evergreen Review #37-39
Heavy Metal (vol. 1) #11
(vol. 2) #3
FormatsOriginal material for the series has been published as a strip in the comics anthology(s) V Magazine, Evergreen Review and Heavy Metal and a set of graphic novels.
Publication date19621978
Number of issues
  • (Dynamite  – vol. 1): 13
  • (Dynamite  – vol. 2): 10
Creative team
Writer(s)Jean-Claude Forest

Mike Carey

Sarah Hoyt
Artist(s)Jean-Claude Forest

Kenan Yarar

Madibek Musabekov
The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in English.

Barbarella is a fictional heroine in a French science fiction comic book created by Jean-Claude Forest.[1]


Jean-Claude Forest created the character of Barbarella for serialization in the French V Magazine in spring 1962,[2] and in 1964 Éric Losfeld published these strips as a stand-alone book titled Barbarella. The book caused a scandal and became known as the first "adult" (erotic) comic book, though American pornographic comic books known as "Tijuana bibles" had long predated it. For her creator, the character embodied the modern, emancipated woman in the era of sexual liberation, and as a result, this literary work has come to be associated with the mid-20th century sexual revolution.[3] The comic would stop publishing in 1978[4]

Barbarella was relaunched as an ongoing series by the American publisher Dynamite Entertainment in December 2017.The creative team was as writer Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar as artists. The comic would be supervisor by Jean-Marc Lofficier who worked with the originally creator.[4] It ran for 12 issues with a holiday special.

Another relaunch was announced in May 2021 by writer Sarah Hoyt and artist Madibek Musabekov.[5] It ran for 10 issues.

After the announcement of a remake movie, Dynamite announced in November 2022 it relaunch the comic again with Sarah Hoyt returning as writer and the artist will be Riccardo Bogani. The comic will be called Barbarella: The Center Cannot Hold.[6]


  • Barbarella: a young woman who travels from planet to planet and has numerous adventures, often involving sex. The aliens she meets often seduce her, and she also experiments with a "machine excessive" or "orgasmatron".
  • Professor Ping: a one-eyed old man who helps Barbarella.
  • Pygar: a blind 'angel' guided by Barbarella, he is the last of the ornithanthropes (bird-men).
  • La Reine noire (The Black Queen): a villainess who reigns in the maze-surrounded town of Sogo on the planet Lythion.
  • Lio: a brown-haired teenage girl saved by Barbarella; she must save the town governed by her father in Les Colères du mange-minutes.
  • Mado: a fembot sex worker whose "breakdown" Barbarella repairs.
  • Narval: an aiguiote (aquatic man) who comes from Citerne IV to complete his scientific research in Les Colères du mange-minutes.
  • L'artiste: a self-insert of Jean-Claude Forest. Named Browningwell in Le Semble-Lune, he and Barbarella have a child together.


  • Barbarella (originally serialized in V Magazine, 1962; book by Éric Losfeld, 1964)
  • Les Colères du Mange-Minutes [The Wrath of the Minute Eater] (Kesselring, 1974)
  • Le Semble-Lune [The False Moon] (Horay, 1977, ISBN 2-7058-0045-X)
  • Le Miroir aux Tempêtes [The Storm Mirror] (Albin Michel, 1982, art by Daniel Billon, ISBN 2-226-01441-1)[7]

The stories have been reprinted by Dargaud and Les Humanoïdes Associés.

Barbarella also guest-stars in Mystérieuse, Matin, Midi et Soir [Mysterious, Morning, Noon And Evening] (originally serialized in Pif, 1971; book edition by Serg, 1972)

Barbarella was translated into English by Richard Seaver and published in Evergreen Review #37-39 (1965–1966) and Heavy Metal (vol. 1) #11 through (vol. 2) #3 (1978). An updated adaptation of Book 1 is being released by Humanoids Publishing[8] on September 24; this new adaptation has been done by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Book 2 will see its first English adaptation in January 2015 by Kelly Sue DeConnick from Humanoids as well.


*=not collected

Barbarella (1-12) (2017-2018) Dynamite Entertainment Mike Carey Kenan Yarar
Barbarella Holiday Special (2018) Dynamite Entertainment Jean-Marc Lofficier Jose Louis Ruiz Perez
Barbarella/Dejah Thoris Dynamite Entertainment Leah Williams Germán Garcia
Barbarella Vol.2 (1-10) (2021-2022) Dynamite Entertainment Sarah Hoyt Madibek Musabekov


In popular culture[edit]

  • 1980s British pop band Duran Duran takes its name from a character in the 1968 film Barbarella: Barbarella's mission in the film is to find a scientist named Durand Durand (pronounced "Duran Duran").[23] In addition, the band's first single from 1997's Medazzaland is entitled "Electric Barbarella."
  • Belgian pop singer and actress Lio took this stage name from a character in the Barbarella comic books.
  • American rock band Clutch details a meet-up between the singer and Barbarella in which a Motel 6 is destroyed, among other exploits, in their song "In Walks Barbarella".
  • Scott Weiland's only single from his debut album 12 Bar Blues is titled "Barbarella" as an homage to the iconic character.
  • Commander Cody's song "Dreams of Barbarella," from his 1978 album "Flying Dreams," details a man's descent into a fantasy world where he lives with Barbarella, in a magic ship out by the Milky Way.


Barbarella has been criticized for being dated and sexist.[24][25] Barbarella has also been described as a sex symbol.[2][26][27]


  1. ^ "FRENCH CARTOONIST JEAN-CLAUDE FOREST DIES". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  2. ^ a b "Rappelle-toi Barbarella.Mort du père de la blonde héroïne SF, Jean-Claude Forest. – Libération". September 11, 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-09-11.
  3. ^ jbindeck2015 (2017-09-19). "Barbarella Returns to Comics After 35 Years". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  4. ^ a b White, Brett (2016-10-04). "Barbarella Returns To Comics In 2017". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  5. ^ Collinson, Gary (2021-05-06). "Barbarella returns for all-new adventures with Dynamite Entertainment". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  6. ^ a b Johnston, Rich (2022-11-17). "Sarah A. Hoyt & Riccardo Bogani Bring Back Barbarella For 2023". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  7. ^ MAGNERON, Philippe. "Barbarella - BD, informations, cotes".
  8. ^ "Barbarella - Coffee Table Book (Limited)".
  9. ^ Collins, Elle. "Celebrating Jean-Claude Forest And 'Barbarella'". ComicsAlliance.
  10. ^ Jenkins, Jason (April 29, 2022). "Drew Barrymore as Barbarella? Writer John August Details the Unmade Movie [Phantom Limbs]".
  11. ^ "'Barbarella' remake planned with Drew Barrymore in the title role". The Independent. October 1, 2000.
  12. ^ Idato, Michael (January 21, 2014). "Jane Fonda's 1968 Barbarella movie to become TV remake". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Robert Rodriguez's 'Barbarella' Adaptation Is Dead". MTV.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Niellie (29 January 2013). "James Bond Writers Neal Purvis And Robert Wade To Pen Gaumont's 'Barbarella' Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  15. ^ Yuan, Jada (24 May 2014). "Only God Forgives Director Nicolas Winding Refn on Getting Booed at Cannes". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Dynamite picks up Elvira, Barbarella licenses". 17 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Dynamite® Barbarella #1". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Barbarella Holiday Special". Archived from the original on September 8, 2021.
  20. ^ "Barbarella/Dejah Thoris #1". Archived from the original on September 18, 2021.
  21. ^ Spry, Jeff (26 June 2021). "Barbarella will launch on wild space adventures in new Dynamite comic series".
  22. ^ Kroll, Justin (2022-10-11). "Sydney Sweeney To Star and Exec Produce New 'Barbarella' Movie For Sony Pictures". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  23. ^ Akbar, Arifa (2 December 2012). "Barbarella, the queen of cult sci-fi, is reborn for the 21st century". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Fire up the orgasmatron: why we can't let Barbarella go". the Guardian. October 5, 2016.
  25. ^ "Why on earth do we want a remake of Barbarella?". The Independent. October 21, 2022.
  26. ^ Lesage, Sylvain (January 1, 2023). Ninth Art. Bande dessinée, Books and the Gentrification of Mass Culture, 1964-1975. Springer Nature. ISBN 9783031170010 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ MacLeod, Catriona (August 5, 2021). Invisible Presence: The Representation of Women in French-Language Comics. Intellect Books. ISBN 9781789383928 – via Google Books.


External links[edit]