Dynamite picks up Elvira, Barbarella licenses

Mike Carey to write new ‘Barbarella’ comic.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and Barbarella will find new life in comics, thanks to Dynamite Entertainment. Dynamite announced today the acquisition of licenses to publish comics based on both properties.

To coincide with the 55th anniversary of Barbarella, Dynamite will launch a new comic this fall, written by Mike Carey (Lucifer, X-Men). Jean-Marc Lofficier, custodian of the Barbarella brand, will join Carey as supervisor on the project.

“In the 1960s, Jean-Claude Forest’s Barbarella was a character who helped to define her era – the first emancipated heroine for a decade that questioned all rules and moral codes,” says Mike Carey. “I’m hugely excited to be involved in re-inventing this classic and iconic character for the modern age, and introducing her to many readers who weren’t even alive when she first traveled the spaceways.”

Barbarella debuted in the French V Magazine in 1962, and the strips were eventually collected into their own book — causing a scandal because of the adult-oriented content. A movie adaptation was released in 1968, starring Jane Fonda as the title character. It was re-released under the title Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy in 1977, and would go on to influence later films and popular music, like The Fifth Element and Duran Duran (who named themselves after a character in the film).

“Barbarella was introduced at the heart of the Sexual Revolution, and is forever ingrained in pop culture after Jane Fonda’s unforgettable portrayal in the 1968 film,” the press release from Dynamite reads. “She was a key figure in the fertile battleground of French comic books and the struggle for sexual freedom in the medium, and has not appeared in a new series since her last appearance in the legendary science fiction publication, Heavy Metal.”

Elvira’s return

Almost 20 years after Barbarella came Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, a.k.a. actress Cassandra Peterson. Dynamite also announced today that it will develop and manufacture a wide variety of products including comic books, trading cards, posters, lithographs, card games and board games featuring the Scream Queen.

“Where better to find ‘Yours Cruelly’ then with my fellow freaks and fiends of the comic book scene? Nooo….of corpse I’m not talkin’ about you, darling, but the ghouls and goblins in the pages of my very own Dynamite comic book! I can’t wait to light this powderkeg!!” Peterson said in the press release.

Elvira debuted in 1981 as the hostess of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, which showed B-grade horror movies. She went on to appear in films and other media, including comics published by Claypool and DC Comics. For a while she took over DC’s House of Mystery title.

“I think we’re all pretty excited to bring Elvira back to comics,” says Kevin Ketner, Assistant Editor at Dynamite. “Just taking a look at how people consume media and have embraced horror movies and camp, it’s a perfect time! Plus, she’s absolutely iconic. She’s the horror host that is currently missing from our lives and our comic shops… or digital outlets.”

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