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Sky Doll

June 26, 2008

This has been one of the best surprise finds for me in the last couple of months.  Sky Doll is a space opera comic written and drawn by Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci, originally from Soleil, a French publisher, translated and brought over by… Marvel?!?

At first glance, you might infer from the cartoony art that it’s going to be simply a silly comic with lots of cheesecake.  After all, the title, “Sky Doll” refers to sex androids.  But then it veers sharply from the played out land of Heavy Metal adolescent fantasy and drops straight into some neat stuff regarding religion and gender.

First, the two major protagonists- Popess Lodovique and Skydoll Noa, are just that- protagonists.

Lodovique is a woman with ambition, and kinda hardcore- she’s seeking to completely control the galaxy by spreading her religion.  She’s also sexually assertive- she basically has all the traits that are normally praised in male protagonists.  I’m loving her as a character and hoping they don’t “punish” her for being a female character with too much power, like so many stories do.

Noa breaks out of the expectations you’d have for a comic book character who is a sex android-  she avoids both the nympho or the abused sex worker archetypes, and instead is an assertive protagonist trying to find her own identity – and ends up on a spiritual quest!  She doesn’t exist secondary to the male characters, and it is they, instead, who are the supporting cast to her journey

Add in some really appealing artwork reminscient of animation, and some cracktastic bits, and I’m pretty much in love.  So far I’ve read 2 of the 3 issues, and I’m just hoping the last issue continues rocking and doesn’t screw it up.

(Also, reading the comic and thinking of the various motivations of the characters?  It’s really like a sci-fi version of In a Wicked Age.  I’m loving it.)

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