In the final issue of Barbarella and Dejah Thoris’ adventure, our heroes will have to make a terrible decision that reverberates through the ages.
Yet again, Germán García’s artwork in this series deserves a commendation. Not only are the wild sci-fi bits beautifully realized and appropriately out-there, but things like character poses and body language lend so much to the story.
For example, after both of our heroes have given the enigmatic Dr. Gitu a piece of their minds, they’re invited in to take a seat and have some tea. Dejah continues to look angry, but there’s a poise to her that is unmistakably regal, even down to the way she sits with her back straight up and the delicate way she holds her tea. Barbarella, meanwhile, who always acts unshakeable in the face of danger, finally looks as relaxed as she’s been behaving: one leg propped up in her seat and a hand running through her hair, she’s finally able to take a moment to breathe. There’s so much said about their frames of mind without a single line of dialogue and it really stuck out to me in this issue.
The colors from Addison Duke make every little moment pop with life, even the catastrophic ones. It really sells the horrific beauty of the universe that Barbarella describes to Dejah.
Speaking of which, Barbarella’s speech toward the end of the issue is absolutely wonderful. Leah Williams’ script perfectly sums up what makes both of these characters so enduring and important, while also broadening them both in new and emotionally-resonant ways.
In a time where it’s so easy to be cynical, it was wonderful to read a story where Barbarella told me that nothing ever really ends and that no one is ever really forgotten. Dejah’s ability to find hope in the end of all things affected me far more than I expected it to. This is the last crossover that you would expect to tug on your heartstrings, but here we are.
There will likely be readers who are disappointed by the lack of high-flying action and adventure in this final issue, but it’s honestly not about that. At the end of the day, this is a rescue mission. It’s not about who can punch harder or shoot better, but for the folks who want some of that, the action sequences in the previous issue also delivered that in spades. This has just been a well-rounded, well-told adventure tale.
More than that, it’s the story of two women on opposite ends of time who find a connection they never thought possible. If this end up being the final time we see these two ladies together, then Williams has put a truly lovely button on this tale.