Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Chris Warner
Penciled by Patrick Olliffe
Inked by Tom Nguyen
Coloured by Gabe Eltaeb
While the town is getting a face-lift, Barb herself is faced with multiple annoyances: A destroyed bar—thanks to the new guy in town, drunken superpower Wyvern Stormblüd, who started a rumble between two of the city’s fiercest street gangs. A reality television crew who want to see more “freak show” when Barb goes hunting bounties. And a landlord who has caved to pressure and agreed to sell Barb’s bar to the highest bidder. She’ll have a chance to bid, but it’s going to mean going after that bounty on Stormblüd!
There’s something about this that I’m really enjoying. Granted I only really know the character peripherally and through the movie so for me I’m really came into this with no expectations and that probably helps me enjoy this even more. Chris has managed in two issues to showcase who Barb is what she’s about and given us a look at what drives her through both her passions, the bar and bounty hunting.
I like what Patrick, Tom and Gabe are doing here as well. These characters look incredible and Barb is tough as nails and sexy as all get out it, they’ve managed to straddle that line and keep from being overly sexualized or too cheesy. Her attire is functionable not so that she can’t realistically do her job in it and ya know they also manage to give the panels some really good sense of movement and action to them. Plus this Asgardian inspired bad guy yeah he’s hot in this weird way that makes him so much more alluring than the surface.
Thanks to the Mayor’s new direction the bounty business has been booming but Blud has other ideas and once all these low level thugs are at the police station he bursts in and frees them all. This really puts a crink in what Barb’s been doing to raise money to buy the building and keep the bar. However because of the men she’s been picking up she has two visitors with similar and yet different agenda’s. We met them last issue but it’s still nice to see that they are still keeping up to date with what’s happening.
Mace Blitzkrieg has come to see if Barb set them up when the cops raided the bar last issue and he’s not exactly one to be subtle when it comes to his intentions and threats. When one encounter ends another one begins and it’s kind of cool because it really doesn’t give Barb much time to really think between visits. Hunter on the other hand thinks that someone is behind the Mayor’s new power play and wants her to focus on that and in the process leave his men alone so they can act as something of lookouts and backup per se. At least Hunter’s proposal is more solid and has a plan behind it giving us a look that perhaps he isn’t as dumb as many of his ilk tend to be.
So now we’ve seen plenty of action and are moving into this whole intrigue stage where Barb has to figure out who to trust and who’s working for whom. Could Blud be the Mayor’s ace in the hole enabling her to be more aggressive and reach for more power or is there another player involved we haven’t met yet? Either way this story is looking up and with such stellar characterization, plot development and story direction this re-introduction to a classic bad girl is incredibly entertaining.