Sky Doll is a science fiction comic written, drawn and colored by Italian artists Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa (of W.I.T.C.H. fame).In this story, sky dolls are sentient robots made for a multitude of jobs— mainly for the pleasure of males. Papathea, the planet the story begins in, is entirely dominated by a Theocracy that keeps power by a mix of manipulation of the masses, fake miracles and an iron rule. Oh, and by double standards: women on this planet are mostly oppressed and forced to conform to an impossible ideal of chastity but men are allowed to "sin" without guilt as long as it's with the dolls.Noa is one of many dolls, working in the "Heavenly Carwash", car washes with some heavy fanservice. Noa is unusual for her kind as she dreams and feels she could do better — most dolls tend to take their virtual slavery situation quite lightly. Roy and Jabu are emissaries of the papacy on the road to Aqua for a peace treaty, who decide to make a quick stop on the carwash. Noa, after making a mess of a situation and deciding that enough is enough, stows away in the guys ship. After being discovered and with the reluctance of Jabu, she joins the expedition and learns more about herself and how messed up the situation on her planet really is.So far books 1-3 have been released in French, Spanish, Danish, Japanese and English by Marvel comics, though Heavy Metal Magazine published all three books in a single issue about a year before the announcement. The fourth issue, Sudra, is about five years overdue as well. Two volumes of short stories have been published; Space Ship Collection and Lacrima Christi, the first being a prequel about Noa's life before the story began, and the other being a bunch of side stories.
Art Evolution: Quite noticeable on the small parts made for the space ship collection and Lacrima Christi.
Author Filibuster: Someone's got a problem with church and state not being separated, or with a church's power gone berserk. It's the tyrannical Ludovica who's apparently the big problem, and a significant population wants the more moderate vanished Papessa Agape to come back. There was a lot of such business way back in Ye Middle Agese, with occasionally-epic pope/antipope fights between factions. See the Medici family and the Borgia family. Both authors have spoken about their huge dislike of organized religion, and in recent issues it has been revealed that Agape was no saint, and probably even more monstrous than Ludovica. Also, the treatment regime on Aqua is a not-so-subtle dig at Scientology's similar shenanigans.
Do Androids Dream?: the Skydolls (gynoids) do not dream. Noa is the only exception. Makes us wonder...
Downer Ending: One in the Spaceship Collection and many of the stories in Lacrima Christi end this way.
The Dulcinea Effect: Roy becomes attached to and protective toward Noa at around the same time she falls into his ship.
Enigmatic Minion: The Miraculatore seems to mostly service Ludovica's elaborate stage shows and her. In reality he uses that as a cover to set up a coup to bring down Ludovica's regime from the inside in the name of his beloved Agape.
Fanservice, Fetish Fuel: In-universe, the skydolls—best to keep the populace distracted from the Dystopia, of course. They're even thematically named (sky vs heaven). Otherwise the story has a good bit thrown in for the reader here and there.
Humanoid Popsicle: In the main Sky Doll comic #2 it seemed, that Jahu committedtotal genocide with just one shot by killing the "holy fish", the key to reproduction of the completely female race of Aqua. But in the side story comic Lacrima Christi #1 it's revealed that Agape somehow foresaw this genocide attempt by Ludovica and the main guru of the Aquarians was put into some kind of transformation chamber, that made "her" into a "him", so that the Aquarians may reproduce sexually. Off-screen fun, hinted at by one of the servant bots ("I have the feeling this new journey will be less spiritual and more ... lively.") ensues.
Hypocrite: In the series proper, the Miracle Genie calls Ludovica a "perverted psycho" behind her back. Lacrima Christi shows he has no right to criticize. NONE WHATSOEVER!
Imperiled in Pregnancy: Noa has a very graphic hallucination where she is pregnant and her womb rips out. But it's all in a dream... or is it?
Little Bit Beastly: The main cast appear to be cat people. The Aquarians have more fishlike facial features with very human anatomy (and boobs, natch). Noa is pretty much a robotic Cat Girl, as are all of the other dolls.
Lolicon: The gothloli Doll from Spaceshipand presumably, Marie's little sister from Lacrima Christi.
Loving a Shadow: Pretty much the only reason the Miracle Genie puts up with Ludovica is because she's Agape's flesh and blood.
The main reason Jahu is attracted to Cleopatra is because she (intentionally) reminds him of his ex-wife, Rose.
Messianic Archetype: Agape and possibly Noa with powers to back it up. Ludovica masquerades as this.
Mind Rape: In Lacrima Christi #1, done to Ludovica, to make her a docile figurehead of the high clergy. It is revealed at that point, that Ludovica's memory of killing her sister was a fake, injected at the "Genie of Wonders" behalf, making the question, who killed Agape or if she was killed at all in the conventional sense even more unanswered then in the main series.
Mission from God: Roy and Jahu are sent on a mission by Ludovica to try to convert the the People of Aqua. At least that's what Roy thinks. Jahu on the other hand was given more specific orders on how to deal with the heretics.
Mushroom Samba: In order to enter the People of Aqua's city you have to reach a higher level of consciousness. Noa and Roy are able to do this thorough meditation. Jahu on the other hand just pops some drugs and ends up hallucinating running through a hallway of breasts. This leads to a near-Marshmallow Hell moment of the most epic order.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Frida Decibel does an awfully good job of playing the dimwitted yes-man shill for Ludovica, but some in her employ are followers of Agape. And so is she.
One-Gender Race: The Aquarians are all female. This doesn't end well for them. Later events gives they choose to become a boring ol' two sex race in order to reproduce again. Clownfish, anyone?
Parental Incest: The Miraculatore claims to be Noa's father. She has at least one dream where she made out with him. What's more, it's heavily implied in the first volume that this was based on reality. The man has issues.
distracts the masses from the issues in the now and here (as seen during the grand Ludovican show)
outright brainwashes these masses up to the point of minimising sensible and critical thought
is a tool for controlling these masses
makes gigantic business out of people's faith
is an undignified circus to maximise the loyalty of the masses
directs worship towards flattened, polished images of figures who in fact can be, and are pretty much anything as persons go
divides people into categories according to artificial definitions of worthiness
cultivates even more artificial and even laughable values (case in point: believer women are expected to wear highly concealing and obstructive pyramid-like robes, while any kind of wanton fornication with the Skydolls is never because the dolls are not real people).
Sound any familiar, Catholic church critics?
Robot Hair: Skydolls have a bald heads, with helmet-like, very synthetic, wigs (some of which resemble normal hair and some which don't).
The Cake Is a Lie: In Lacrima Christi #1, a girl named Marie wins a contest and becomes the Papess for one day. At the end of the day, she is raped to insanity, with the high clerics and personnel watching and having a jolly good time. And sees afterwards, that her sister also "won" in the contest.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Cleopatra gives Noa advice when she's struggling to choose between reuniting with the Miraculatore or running away with Roy.
Wrong Name Outburst: During the scene in Ludovica's room the Miraculatore says "Agape", the name of Ludovica's counterpart who she thought she had killed before the story begins. She notices, but doesn't give him the audience-expected hell for it.