Barbarella is a fictional heroine in the French science fiction comic book created by Jean-Claude Forest. He created the character for serialisation in the French V-Magazine in spring 1962, and in 1964 Eric Losfeld later published these strips as a stand-alone book, under the title Barbarella. The stand-alone version caused a scandal and became known as the first ‘adult’ comic-book, despite its eroticism being slight and the existence of the Tijuana bibles (pornographic comic books) well before this date.

Barbarella is a young woman who travels from planet to planet and has numerous adventures, often involving sex (the aliens she meets often seduce her, and she also experiments with a ‘machine excessive’ or ‘orgasmotron’). The original comic book version of Barbarella was probably modelled on Brigitte Bardot, who was once married to the director of the 1968 film, Roger Vadim. Vadim’s third wife, Jane Fonda, starred as Barbarella in the 1968 movie based on the character. For her creator, the character embodied the modern woman in the era of sexual liberation.


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