‘Barbarella’ Is Getting a Modern Remake

by Matt Tuck

101322C-1024x536 'Barbarella' Is Getting a Modern RemakeBarbarella is returning to screens with White Lotus’ Sydney Sweeney taking on the iconic role. Saddle up your keyboards for a trip to eBay for these comics.

With reboots galore abounding across screens big and small, it’s no surprise whenever Hollywood taps another classic franchise to resurrect. However, I doubt anyone saw this one coming. While no one is likely expecting an Oscar winner, casting Sweeney in the lead role of an erotic sci-fi movie should be enough to get viewers. 

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Whether you have seen the original Barbarella from 1968 or not, you’ve most likely heard of it. Produced during the height of Jane Fonda’s career, it’s her sex appeal coupled with the sheer ‘60s kitsch that makes this movie so famous. The film itself is as much unintentional comedy as it is scripted jokes, much of which comes from the amount of cheese in this horrible movie.

So what’s it about?

The ‘68 film was a fairly standard B-movie sci-fi plot. Barbarella is a futuristic astronaut who travels the starways to battle the evil Durand Durand (not the ‘80s pop band, though that would be an interesting twist for the remake). Wouldn’t you know, it is based on a Silver Age comic, which should pique your collecting interest.

To this point, there hadn’t been much reason to concern yourself with finding any Barbarella keys. As famous as the movie has been, the comic character has been largely forgotten outside of the more underground readers. That should change, at least for a time, thanks to the new movie coming up. 

That being said, which issues should you be watching? I’m glad you asked.

BARBARELLA #1 (1966)

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Before the movie would hit theaters, Barbarella made her debut in her very own self-titled comic. While this hardcover edition was her first actual comic book, Jean-Claude Forest created the character in 1962. The initial comic strips were printed in the French publication, V Magazine, in the classic serialized format. Thanks to the amount of intergalactic sex featured in the stories, Barbarella is widely considered the first adult comic, at least in the mainstream spotlight. 

There are no records of any sales for the collected edition, but these are tough to find. That would explain the lack of sales data, though that could change with the movie attention.

BARBARELLA #1 (2017)

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It took 55 years, but Barbarella finally starred in her own ongoing series under the Dynamite Entertainment banner. While it was not necessarily a massive hit, the appeal of reinventing a ‘60s icon brought in enough readers to breathe life into the title. 

There haven’t been many sales to speak of, but at least there are sales figures this time. The last time a graded 9.8 traded hands online, it went for $40 in 2018. That same year, a 9.4 brought $25.

BARBARELLA #4 COVER D (2021)

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Last year, Barbarella was given her second series with Dynamite. As far as the story, there’s not much reason to seek out this specific issue. Then again, this is Barbarella, a franchise built on sexiness. It should come as no surprise that cover artists had fun with this title, and the bondage cover for issue #4 has been a popular item for obvious reasons. While not setting the market ablaze, this has been one of the better sellers in the series. There are no graded sales on file, but the raw copies have been staying in the $15 range.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE MOVIES

Love it or hate it, the film industry is the driving force behind the collecting market. There’s little reason to believe that the three aforementioned issues will suddenly catch fire and draw huge numbers. However, if the reimagined Barbarella is a hit, then there’s likely to be a bump in interest for the comics. 

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Upgrade2_Footer 'Barbarella' Is Getting a Modern Remake*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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3 comments

Kenloi October 14, 2022 - 4:49 am

Jane Fonda’s Barbarella is an aquired taste but for myself one of the quintessential 1960s movies. A great not horrible movie. It is meant to be cheesy. No need to remake it. (Kylie MInogue did a Barbarella opening scene strip for one of her songs ‘ Put yourself in my place’ iif anyone is interested, which was pretty good). Get a large tv, 4k bluray with decent sound bar and enjoy the Fonda movie. It is of it’s time. Always slagged of by critics. Apparently she had to get drunk to perform the opening scene as she didnt approve. A woman in her prime.You wont better the Fonda version other than with updated horrendous cold cgi on a new movie. Also watch another wonderful Fonda movie with Robert Redford on a cold crisp Winter’s day, ‘Barefoot in the Park’. A bygone 1960s New York city flick. Wonderful..Then if you continue with the Robert Redford theme, the brilliant 1970s thriller ‘3 days of the Condor.’ also set in 1970s New York city……

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John Munshour October 14, 2022 - 12:50 pm

Prior to the publication of the hardcover, Grove Press published the 1st US appearances of Barbarella in Evergreen Review issues 37, 38, 39. Evergreen Review was a literary magazine that started out publishing the Beats and European Avant-Garde writing but occasionally published underground comics after it switched from a digest sized format to a standard magazine size.

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Matt Tuck October 15, 2022 - 1:47 pm

I had no idea. Thanks for sharing, John. That will definitely make it into a follow up.

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