Barbarella (comics)

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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
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 date1962 – 1964
Creative team
Writer(s)Jean-Claude Forest
Artist(s)Jean-Claude Forest
Creator(s)Jean-Claude Forest
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.


Jean-Claude Forest created the character of Barbarella for serialization in the French V Magazine in spring 1962, 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" (pornographic) comic-book, though its eroticism was slight and the American erotic 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-twentieth-century sexual revolution.

Barbarella was relaunched as an ongoing series by American publisher Dynamite Entertainment in December 2017.[1]


  • 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". Roger Vadim directed a 1968 film adaptation that starred Jane Fonda.
  • Duran: 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 town of Sogo, surrounded by a maze, on the planet Lythion.
  • Lio: A brown-haired teenage girl saved by Barbarella who must save the town governed by her father in Les Colères du mange-minutes. (The chanteuse Lio drew her stage name from this character.)
  • Mado: sex worker fembot 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-portrait of Jean-Claude Forest. Named Browningwell in 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)[2]

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 the 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[3] 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.

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").[4]
  • Belgian pop singer and actress Lio took this stage name from a character in the Barbarella comic books.
  • American rock band Clutch (band) details a meetup between the singer and Barbarella in which a Motel 6 is destroyed, among other exploits, in their song In Walks Barbarella.



  1. ^ [Page at publisher's website]
  2. ^ MAGNERON, Philippe. "Barbarella - BD, informations, cotes".
  3. ^ "Barbarella - Coffee Table Book (Limited)".
  4. ^ Akbar, Arifa (2 December 2012). "Barbarella, the queen of cult sci-fi, is reborn for the 21st century". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Yuan, Jada (24 May 2014). "Only God Forgives Director Nicolas Winding Refn on Getting Booed at Cannes". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Dynamite® Barbarella #1". Retrieved 1 April 2019.


External links[edit]