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Comic Book / Barb Wire

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You heard her...

Barb Wire is a female comic book character and part of Comics' Greatest World, Dark Horse's intent to create a Shared Universe with their own superheroes in The '90s.

The story is about Barbara Kopetski, aka Barb Wire, a bar owner and part-time Bounty Hunter (in order to pay for her bar, the Hammerhead). She has great fighting and marksman skills, necessary in a Mad Max-like town as is Steel Harbor, one of the cities affected by "The Vortex". In CGW, she's the protagonist of the Steel Harbor arc, appearing in the other issues from this city as The Machine, Wolf Gang and Motorhead. Although she's a loner, she has various allies, like her Gadgeteer Genius brother, various metahumans who aid her... and even the visit of her friend from the city of Arcadia, Ghost.

Sadly, she's more (in)famous for the 1996 Hollywood adaptation with Pamela Anderson as Barb Wire, having only the name, the blonde hair, her motorbike and her Catchphrase as the only things in common with the source. The film tanked the character's reputation, and outside of some guest apperances in Ghost, she was not seen in comics again for almost 20 years.

Her original comic ran for 9 issues in 1994-1995, and was followed by the 4-issue miniseries Ace of Spades in 1996 and a single-issue adaptation of the movie. Decades later a reboot series was launched in 2015 that lasted 8 issues. She's one of the best known characters from Comics' Greatest World along with Ghost, X (Dark Horse Comics) and Grace.

Remember TV Tropes, don't call her "babe"!

  • Action Girl: Probably one of the most known ones from CGW and Dark Horse in general.
  • Author Appeal:
    • John Arcudi, one of the writers of the first volume, is known for his violent plots, as we first known in The Mask.
    • Barb Wire took a level in sexiness in the volume 2 thanks to Adam Hughes, who made all the cover artworks.
  • Badass Biker: Barb is always seen in her motorbike when she's not in her bar.
  • The Bartender: When she's not looking some trouble, she's the owner of her own bar in Steel harbor, "The Hammerhead".
  • Bounty Hunter: Since her bar can't pay the debts by itself... and also works to survive in the wasteland Steel harbor is, and in one of these to save the world.
  • Catchphrase: "Don't call me babe!"
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The Movie received a "Movie Special", a comic book that adapted the whole movie with Pamela Anderson as the photo cover of the adaptation taken from the movie.
  • Cyberpunk:
    • Steel Harbor looks like a city that would appear in Mad Max or Hokuto no Ken, a post-apocalyptic wasteland as seen in various of cyberpunk works.
    • One of Barb's allies, The Machine, is a part-human part-machine abomination as his name says.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Charlie Kopetski, Barb's blind, mechanical genius brother. He invents most of her weapons and metahuman restraining devices. He also despairs that he must fix the things that she continuously breaks during her escapades.
  • Guns Akimbo: She's always seen with guns and various kind of weapons.
  • Hates Being Alone: While she has a brother and several allies, she is essentially a loner, although this is something which is uncomfortable for her to think about.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Barb is usually seems dressed with leather (not just black), sometimes straightly as a Dominatrix.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Outside Steel Harbor, she found a female partner in Ghost, who appears in some of her issues as well she appears in some Ghost's titles.
  • In Name Only: The 1996 movie, which gives the title a bad name.
  • I Work Alone: Barb Wire prefers to make all the job alone, but she's not reused to accept help sometimes.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Not much as other females of CGW, but Barb is very qualified to have this title.
  • Omnibus: As a kind of revival of the character, one was made in 2008 that compiles the first volume and the Ace of Spades miniseries.
  • Pink Heroine: She could dress as a Dominatrix and full of leather, but always has to be in rose. At least in the volume 1 and in CGW.