Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Chris Warner
Penciled by Patrick Olliffe
Inked by Tom Nguyen
Coloured by Gabe Eltaeb
Beyond its glittering enclaves of old money are the blighted jurisdictions of fierce street armies led by gang lords possessed of fearsome powers. Many carry a handsome price on their heads, and none are better at claiming those rewards than Barb Wire, a bounty hunter as skilled as she is stunning. She works out of her hard-rocking money-pit bar, and when Barb brings out the handcuffs, she ain’t playin’!
I’ll be the first to admit i’m not all that familiar with Barb Wire, her world and what she’s about and yes I did see the movie and rather enjoyed it. So what Chris has done with this first issue is aimed at people like me who aren’t familiar with her past the name and he manages to keep longtime fans happy as well with what feels like a continuation of her life like it hasn’t been that long at all since she last appeared. So my hats off to Chris for managing to do both things here and doing them incredibly well.
Pat, Tom and Gabe do some beautiful work on the interiors as well. There’s some fine detail on the page in the panels and the use of backgrounds, page layouts and panels help the story flow nicely. Plus I have to say Barb is one fine looking woman here, she isn’t sexualized or just thrown in inappropriate attire, the kind you’d never effectively fight in, she’s a smart, strong and capable woman whose inner strength can be seen on the page. Oh and the fashion we see her wearing at her club is fantastic seriously Tim Gunn would be proud to see them make it work.
Her newest adversary makes a grand entrance as well. Looking very much like Odin or some Viking God complete with attire and drinking and great strength he really was a gem of a creation here. Not only did we get some wonderful characterization on him but the other players in Steel City. Wyvern Stormblud is going to be an issue for Barb and after what he did in her bar and the ruckus he caused it seems she’s going to have more than professional interest in getting the bounty on his head.
There are a couple of aspects here I wasn’t expecting and that’s seeing her in her own reality type series like that of Dog the Bounty Hunter, the revelation of her landlord and her brother’s attempt at finding a trade. Not to mention Mace and Hunter and while rival gang leaders they seem to be fine with Barb’s rules and the crews unexpected team-up against Wyvern well it’s absolutely fun and entertaining reading.
Barb Wire is back and better than ever as a strong powerful woman which is fantastic to see. Fun, exciting and a much needed role model showcasing regardless of who you are or your circumstances you can be whatever you want to be and darn good at it!