Synopsis: Comics legend Jean-Marc Lofficier (Mobius, Doctor Strange) steps aboard the Barbarella Cosmic Express to tell an intergalactic tale of Christmas and…murder?! Hélas, c’est vrai! Someone’s been given the ultimate gift, and jolly old St. Nick must figure out by whom. Enter the space siren for all holidays, Barbarella! Guest-starring France’s Hexagon Comics’ super-patriot hero: The Guardian of the Republic.
Review: With Christmas around the corner. Dynamite has released a holiday special featuring Barbarella in a somewhat strange but fun team up.
The story starts with Santa flying his ship in search of a planet to build a new home on. He hopes to attract children, but instead, Planet Christmas becomes a neutral meeting point for all manner of colorful characters.
When a murder is committed Santa asks Barbarella to investigate and teams her up with a robot with the personality and knowledge of legendary earth Law Enforce Maxime Saint-Clair, who has a flamboyant and somewhat superhero like dress sense.
The story focuses on their investigation, which provides some great twists and turns, but also allows time for some Christmas fun.
Artist Jose Luis Ruis Perez provides a wonderful mix of Christmas mirth with the darker edgier tones of a murder investigation. His drawings of Santa are both fun and serious to allow for the tonal shifts in the story.
I also loved Elfbot 348. Which is something that didn’t feel overly out of place in the somewhat camp Barbarella universe?
This is a fun read, but when compared to Dynamites very first issue of Barbarella, which I covered months ago. This is a much cleaner story in that it has been toned down, which is not a bad thing given that its a holiday special, which means it needs to be a bit more inclusive.
That said. It doesn’t stop Barbarella from being true to the character that she is and although I’d figured out who the murderer was well before the issue concluded. I still enjoyed the story and the various character interactions.
Hopefully, we will get a few more Holiday Specials from Dynamite in the coming month.