The most badass damsel in distress is back for more. Barb Wire #7 shows that although Barb has a lot of bite, it’s probably not enough to play with the big dogs (all men). Barb Wire had the Feds come down on her and she takes them through memory lane as she re-tells the story of how she found- and let go of- the criminal known as Avram Roman. Twelve years ago she found him and planned on cashing in the money, but after finding out her boss, the most Irish man that’s ever Irished in the history of all Ireland, wants to take Roman and cash the reward himself, she decides to let him go. Now that decision has come back around to haunt her and brought the Feds with her.
With a more streamlined story and a lot less fragmented than before, Barb Wire #7 continues to suffer from the same issues it had before. Barb Wire is depicted as a badass who won’t take shit from anybody, except when she’s dealing from shit from everyone else. Having read the entirety of the Wyvern Sotrmblüd saga and jumping into this issue, there still the overwhelming feeling that Barb is never in control of almost any situation, she continues to react to whatever problem is smashed in her path and most times, including in this issue, the only way out of those situations is when her male counterparts/mentors appear with a deus ex machina to save her day and keep the story going. When it she was dealing with Sotrmblüd, her brother came in with the gun that suppressed powers; in the flashbacks happening in this issue, she’s unable to get out of from O’Brien’s grasp had it not been for Hunter Saving her, and the pattern continues throughout this issue. She admits getting tips and being able to pay the bills because Roman fed her information. There is a prevalent notion that she needs a male character helping her out throughout the series.
And why just a male character? Because in this issue, there is only another female in the whole 22 pages of comic, and of course they have to fight each other… in an all out brawl that pins her and Roman against five of O’Brien’s goons, Roman is the one who takes on three people at once, and Barb takes on the one female in the group and manages to pepper spray the other dude who tries to fight her. In modern day comics, where female characters are and should be more and more empowered, this is unacceptable. Barb is a series that promised a badass woman in a badass men world who wasn’t gonna take shit from no one, instead Chris Warner delivered the idea that damsels in distress can also wear Slayer shirts and have 90s spiked hair in 2003. The art is sleek and sometimes too clean. everyone is perfectly chiseled and sculpted, even falling into Rob Liefeld face expressions, it fits the tone of a book that’s 20 years too late.
This is the first cover that showed what Barb Wire should be about, although she’s nearly naked in it, she’s not in those ridiculously compromising positions she was in before. She’s taking care of herself and giving no fucks. Making me wish that had been the tone of the book itself. Barb Wire #7 has a more straight-through line in the story, but unfortunately that showed the many many flaws of the book.
Barb Wire #7 Writer: Chris Warner Artist: Patrick Olliffe Inker: Tom Nguyen Colorist: Wes Dzioba Publisher: Barb Wire Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/6/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital