Barbi Twins Adventures #1
July 4, 2011
"Adventures" is too strong a word. "Stumbles into nonsense" would be more accurate.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. You know, some people assume that because I'm a feminist, I hate pornography or anything remotely sexual related to women.
(As Linkara speaks below, there is a montage of shots of sexy women in comics, starting with the title character from "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose")
Linkara (v/o): It isn't the case at all. Feminism has many theories and varied opinions on any number of subjects, including porn. It's not like there's some grand feminist manifesto that everyone must adhere to, or else they don't get the feminist merit badge.
(Next, cut to a shot of Black Canary in "All-Star Batman and Robin #3")
Linkara (v/o): But whatever one's own thoughts on the matter are, I think we can agree there's a difference for fictional characters. Real people have free will and choose what they want with their bodies. Fictional characters, on the other hand, have no choice in the matter.
(Now cut to a shot of Vicki Vale in "All-Star Batman and Robin #1")
Linkara (v/o): They are depicted as they are because someone else wrote them and drew them in a particular manner. That's why it irritates me to when characters are reduced to being sex objects...
(Cut to a shot of a script detailing the comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...be it through the stunningly awful writing of Frank Miller...
(Cut to some shots of the title character from "Athena #1", including one showing her naked rear)
Linkara (v/o): ...or just by a character that has no personality, at least none shown to the reader, and barely speaks three sentences in the entire damn comic because the artist was too busy showing off the heroine's ass!
Linkara: And just to avoid people putting words in my mouth, of course it's okay for characters to have sexuality to them. It all comes back to how it's written and how it's presented to the reader.
(Two shots of sexuality in two separate comics are shown, the first being a panel of "New Teen Titans" showing Starfire and Nightwing in bed together, naked)
Linkara (v/o): Here are two examples of characters having sexuality, both very different in how they're handled, though. One example: Starfire and Nightwing in "New Teen Titans" clearly sharing a bed together and that they sleep in the nude.
(Cut to a shot of the second example: Wolverine in "Ultimates 3" describing his love of Magneto's wife)
Linkara (v/o): Another examle: Wolverine comes into "Ultimates 3" to tell a story about how he once had sex with Magneto's wife and her impossible spine.
Linkara: One of those is perfectly in character and logical. The other is the pointless and idiotic Wolverine scene.
(Cut to a shot of a magazine article reading: "The Barbi Twins Bust Out – In Comics!", with a shot of the scantily-clad Barbi Twins themselves)
Linkara (v/o): So, why the heck am I talking about all of this? Well, it's because somebody decided to take currently-popular Playboy models and have a superhero comic written around them. And it reduces individuals to... well, you'll see. Meet the Barbi Twins, who were supposedly popular in the '90s for being in Playboy – according to Wikipedia, anyway – and these days are animal rights activists.
Linkara: Well, good for them. Unfortunately, (points to himself) I have to dig into (holds up today's comic) "Barbi Twin Adventures #1". (frowns)
(AT4W opening titles play; title card has "Barbie Girl" by Aqua playing in the background; cut to a shot of the cover of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): So as we get this out of the way so we're not surprised later, to my eternal contempt, this book follows on the heels of books like "Youngblood 1" and "Athena" by having a second story available if you flip the book upside-down and read it from the back. This has the unfortunate side effect of forcing me to not only look at two bad covers, but also to make the comic feel like it's twice as long. Anyway, we see the Barbi Twins, and their own individual Barbi Twins, stuck in this weird-ass purple leotards and running away from a fire-breathing dragon while giving two completely unconcerned and vapid expressions. Way to keep the suspense going there. Also, the dragon is wearing a pair of spectacles for reasons that completely elude me. Oh, and as if I didn't hate this book enough, it's labeled as a "first collector's item issue".
Linkara: (holding comic book) Got it for $2.25 at my local comic book store, in case you're curious. I was overcharged by about twenty bucks.
Text: Special guest-appearance by Everett Hartsoe's RAZOR!
Linkara: Wow! That's my favorite character that I've never heard of before!
Linkara (v/o): We open to the Barbi Twins putting on makeup in their apartment.
Shane Barbi: Hurry up, Sia! We're gonna be late for the reception if you don't stop admiring yourself.
Sia Barbi: Me?! I'm not the only one sitting in front of this mirror, Shane!
Linkara: (waving dismissively) Oh, those kooky kids and their makeup! (laughs) So, which one is which?
Linkara (v/o): Seriously, they're wearing the same outfit and are drawn and colored the same way. I suppose I could go by the hairstyle, but there's barely any difference between them there. This is going to be a real problem if, at some points, they don't refer to each other by name. The phone rings, and it's their doorman.
Shane: (talking on phone) Yeah, Jeff – this is Shane. What's up? And I don't mean in your pants.
Linkara: (sarcastically) Ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha.
Linkara (v/o): They're informed that their helicopter has arrived to take them to the fashion show that they're getting dressed up for.
Linkara: (massaging his forehead at the incredulity of it all) They have a helicopter that they're taking to a fashion show. This is going to be a long comic.
Linkara (v/o): They run out to get to the helicopter as quickly as they can, primarily to avoid the doorman, since he has a tendency to drool when he sees them. Their words, not mine. However, despite the doorman usually being at, you know, the door, he's already waiting at the helicopter pad.
Doorman Jeff: You know how the boss hates it when you're left unattended! Why, two fine scrumpt–I mean–uh, s-sophisticated ladies like yourselves...
Linkara: (creeped out) Is it still considered a Freudian slip if the term they accidentally use is in relation to something they would consume?
Linkara (v/o): They need to get rid of him, so the first thing they do is kiss him on either side of his cheeks. Naturally, men are weak-willed, easily-stupefied cavemen, who are pacified and stunned when presented with beautiful women showing the slightest bit of attraction towards them, and certainly not that this is hack writing, no siree. Anyway, they get onto their helicopter and fly off. However, it turns out that their pilot is someone they know.
Pilot: Yes, Shane, look hard – my once-gorgeous face will be the last you infernal Barbi Twins will ever see!
Linkara (v/o): And who is it? Two-Face! Uh, wait, what? Uh, no, it's a woman named Betty Bloodred or... Blodryed...? I have no idea how to pronounce that*, so we're gonna go with Female Two-Face.
- NOTE: Linkara was right the second time, it is "Blodryed".
Blodryed: Surely you couldn't have forgotten scarring the once most beautiful woman in the world...
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell)
Crow T. Robot: Oh, no, this is a sequel to something!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The two ask her what she wants.
Blodryed: What could I possibly want from you two brainless boob-bags? REVENGE, of course!
Shane: What's happening, Sia?
Linkara: (disbelieving) Female Two-Face hijacked your helicopter and plans to kill you. She was also right about you being brainless.
Linkara (v/o): Female Two-Face also apparently had time to set up a sliding window that separates the cockpit from the back of the chopper, which one of the twins runs right into, despite clearly seeing that it's going down. Our heroes are idiots, and we're only on page three. This is gonna hurt. Anyway, Female Two-Face explains her backstory.
Blodryed: (narrating) Are you blondes so dumb you don't remember when your agency foiled my plot the Maxine Make-Up Factory Plant, resulting in everything blowing-up in my face– literally!
Linkara: (as Blodryed) In retrospect, lacing the makeup with nitroglycerin was not my smartest move.
Blodryed: (narrating) My natural beauty was stolen from me– forever! But my hatred kept me alive with an undying thirst to repay you for what you've cost me!
Linkara (v/o): And of course, instead of engaging in the plan of suing them for all their worth, for physical and psychological damage, Female Two-Face opts for a cartoonish supervillain plan: preparing to dump the two into tanks of acid. So, what could make this comic even more idiotic than just the premise of two models apparently having adventures? Why, how about we structure the comic into multiple parts within the same issue! Yes, there's a big "to be continued" at the bottom, even though THE VERY NEXT PAGE CONTINUES THE STORY! However, the art style is now more radically different, featuring a much more painted look for the Barbi Twins and Female Two-Face now looking like some kind of lizard woman.
Blodryed: HAHAHAHAHAAA! YES! Yessss...
(Cut to a clip of Transformers: Beast Wars)
(Back to the comic again)
Blodryed: Your reflection in this mirror is priceless! Priceless! But if I were you... I'd take one last look at your beautiful faces before they're washed away into hideous, repulsive pusses!
Linkara: (holding up index finger) Pardon me for invoking logic, but how exactly does Lizard Female Two-Face plan on dumping the two into the acid tanks? She doesn't have a gun or anything. What, was she planning on (makes a flying motion with his hand) flying over the tank and then just kinda (shakes his body) shaking back and forth and hope that the rattling helicopter will kinda drop them out into the tank?
Linkara (v/o): The twins quickly get to work on a plan, digging out their compact mirrors from their purses.
Blodryed: Sorry to interrupt, girls, but you found your mirrors too late! We are above one of the largest acid plants in the vicinity and are about to descend... RIGHT INTO IT!
Linkara: (disbelieving) Your plan is to dive the helicopter into an open acid tank so you can burn their faces off. And she makes it quite clear that she intends them to survive, by the way. (shakes head) Lady, I didn't think I'd have to use the term again so soon after I invented it, but you are idiostuperiffic.
Linkara (v/o): One of the twins presses a button on her mirror and then... wait, WHAT?! Transformers WHAT?! Her mirror turns into a GUN?!
Linkara: YOU'RE A MODEL! Why do you need a mirror that transforms into a GUN?! Where do you even get a mirror that transforms into a gun?!
Shane: STICK 'EM UP, you old... sagging... SEAHAG!
Linkara: (laughs) Denigrating others by insulting their physical appearances! Keep laying on the charm, comic; you make me wanna see them die horribly more and more.
Blodryed: Eh? Hah! Your Barbi-Blasters can't help you now, twins!
Linkara (v/o): (disbelieving) "Barbi-Blasters"! They actually called them "BARBI-BLASTERS"!! The two shoot at her, but at that distance, the shots go right through Lizard Female Two-Face and destroy the consoles.
Sia: She's right, Shane...we're FINISHED!
(A dramatic sting is heard, then cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)
Dr. Cox: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present... (points to himself) Man Not Caring. (makes an exaggeratedly smug expression)
(Cut back to the comic)
Shane: Well, Sia, I guess we'll see each other at the big fashion show in the sky...
Blodryed: Heh heh heh. You're partly correct, twins... You are going to a fashion show... deep... within... the gates of... HELL!!!
Linkara: I'm guessing that in Hell, the fashion shows are always about wool sweaters in bright neon colors. (dramatically) Even the pants are wool sweaters!
Linkara (v/o): Oh, and look at her hand here. She apparently has magical powers that she uses to summon a bolt of lightning that strikes the helicopter. If she has magical powers, then why the hell couldn't she do anything for her appearance? The two start falling out of the helicopter, and naturally, not even getting singed by the helicopter explosion, though really, the entire thing to have an excuse to have an up-skirt shot of the two. Why, yes, they are wearing panties. Thank you, comic, I was just dying to find out that critical piece of information. Also, I'm sure the colors didn't think we'd notice, since we're supposed to be looking at their asses, but their clothes have changed color, from a pink jacket to a white jacket.
Sia: I-I can't b-believe we s-spent all th-that time doing our h-hair and makeup...
Shane: Sia, will you stop sniveling?! There are more important things to worry about... like my fingernails! I broke two of them already!
Linkara: (scarcely believing what he saw, massaging his forehead) This... This is a spinoff of "Bimbos in Time", isn't it?
Linkara (v/o): And as if to answer my half-baked theory, the two fall into a wormhole or something and land in an alien city, but now in pink, cleavage-exposing jumpsuits.
Shane: Yeah. We're in our battle outfits.
Linkara: Transformer guns? "Battle outfits"? Is this piece of crap trying to imply that they're secret agents or something?
Linkara (v/o): IT IS! They have spy watches that predict the hologram of their boss! What complete dumbasses thought this was a good idea?! It's bad enough that the comic creators came up with it, but in-universe, why are two busty models made into super-spies?! Why do they have battle suits that are not conducive to battle whatsoever?! What government agency concluded that two vapid morons who care more about their nails and hair than their own imminent DEATHS were best suited as being agents of ANYTHING?!?! Ugh, so much to hate, so little time! Anyway, their boss DJ explains where they are.
DJ: You are in a virtual reality field designed by one of the world's experts in computer-generated simulation.
Linkara: (massaging his forehead irritably) Oh, good. Good, good, good, good, good, the, uh, magic lightning bolt through the helicopter didn't send the fashion models/secret agents to an alien planet; it sent them into a virtual reality construct. Yeah, yeah, false alarm, everybody; the, uh, comic is not one of the most annoyingly brainless things I've ever read. Oh, no, no, no, not at all.
Linkara (v/o): Okay, I'm gonna pull myself back here, because honestly, there are only so many ways for me to say, "I hate this thing, and I wish it would burn in the fires of Hell!" DJ tells them that the person who created the virtual reality construct is also a wanted man and that Two-Face Woman was working for him.
Linkara: I'll forego the question of why she was working for him when her goal seemed to exclusively be killing the Barbi Twins.
Linkara (v/o): The twins ask why the organization wants him, and he says he also kidnapped their top agent many years ago. However, before he can say any more, the hologram is disrupted by the arrival of a flying demon riding an anvil. Just roll with it. He has some kind of energy whip and he cracks it on some of the assembled weirdos around with fishbowls on their heads. Oh, and hey, look, phallic symbol! Why, that shot is just as necessary as one of the Barbi Twins here supposedly floating of something, because I can't tell just what the hell position they're supposed to be in. Also, I just noticed that their battle outfits have very high heels. Yeah, having high heels comes so much in handy in battle, I must say. The flying troll guy says that the Barbi Twins will make excellent entertainment for his sideshow. I guess he chases them over to a chasm. I don't know, the sequential flow is awful! He just shows up, there's a closeup of one of their faces, then a closeup of the troll guy, and then bam! They're next to the chasm. They use of the hologram watches to fire a laser beam at his phallic symbol, blowing it up.
Sia: Wow, Shane– look what happened!
Shane: Yeah, isn't it cool? Or should I say hot? Henh henh.
Linkara: (announcer voice) This has been a test of the Desperate-For-Anything-Resembling-A-Joke System. Had this been an actual joke, you may have actually laughed.
Linkara (v/o): The troll thing survives and wraps the two up with his energy whip, dragging them away into the night. Later, they're in a dungeon and wearing even less clothes.
Linkara: (as one of the twins) Ah, the fools! They put me in my battle bikini!
Linkara (v/o): Even they're confused by the clothes change, but a nearby man chained to a wall explains.
Man: I'm afraid, my dears, anything can happen... anything!
Linkara: (as one of the twins) You mean they can make "Cry for Justice" into a good comic? (as the chained-up man) ANYTHING!
Linkara (v/o): The old guy is apparently the agent mentioned earlier who was kidnapped, and he asks the two who they are.
Shane: We're the Barbi Twins.
Man: Just like the dolls, perhaps?
Shane: Why you--
Sia: Stop it, Shane, he's one of us! Sorry about my sister-- that reference is a sore spot for her.
Linkara: Understandable. Barbie dolls are much more interesting than these characters.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Bearded Agent Guy... Seriously, they never give him a name... says that he's apparently outgrown his usefulness, so they'll take his place in the arena. And on cue, they do so, teleported into a large arena with a dragon and the earlier troll guy.
Troll: We have a new treat to feast our eyes upon tonight! Look what I've captured from an alternate dimension, the BARBI TWINS!
Linkara: (frustrated) Virtual reality is not an alternate dimension! Why did so many comics in the '90s get this wrong? Why do you make Tron look realistic by comparison?
Troll: Shall we have them battle each other to the death?
Linkara: Aaaaand Star Trek fight music on standby.
(He raises his finger in the air, and the "Kirk vs. Gorn" music plays briefly)
Linkara: Very good.
Linkara (v/o): They refuse to fight, but if they don't fight, their bodies will be twisted so they become obese, old or – le gasp – UGLY! Naturally, since these morons are obsessed with their appearances, this is more than enough to say they'll do anything to avoid that. So, if this guy can magically do this crap, can't he just force them to fight through mind control or something? Oh, and actually, the dragon is in charge. Whatever. The dragon uses its magic to transform their outfits again... If you were just going to do that, why did you put them in the bikinis?! ...and magically create horses that they can joust on. Also, the magic makes them telepathically linked. How dramatically convenient. The one in red tells the other to follow her lead, and they charge at one another. What's the plan? Well, the dragon on the last page said that the strongest will controls the land. Thus, if they combine their wills, they'll defeat him!
Linkara: (angrily) YOU ARE NOT GREEN LANTERNS!
Linkara (v/o): So, anti-climax follows as they concentrate their power into their lances and throw them at the dragon, killing it, and the virtual world disappears, leaving them back in the real world. I really just want to get this over with, so I won't ask how the hell that works. And so, our story ends with them getting ready to go to the fashion show again, (voice turns dramatic) but it turns out that the bellboy has EVIL, GLOWING EYES! (normal again) And that will never be followed up on, since "Barbi Twin Adventures" only had the one issue. Smooth.
(Cut to the cover of another Barbi Twin story, on the other side of this comic)
Linkara (v/o): Now time for the flip-book story. This cover is boring, too, but props to the artwork for making them more dynamically posed, even if their sultry expressions just make them look like they're falling asleep.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open to a stereotypical Italian restaurant in New York.
Mobster [revealed to be Fellini]: I'm tellin' ya, Al--NOBODY sends me a newspapa' wit' a message and gits away with it...
Linkara: (as Fellini, pretending to read newspaper) "New petitions against tax"?! I want them DEAD! I want their families DEAD!
Linkara (v/o): It turns out that the newspaper message was sent by the woman named Razor, who was boasted on the cover, trying to get the mobster to stop dealing drugs. The Barbi Twins arrive, and naturally, the restaurant, filled entirely with men, all leer at them. They're supposed to be finding a guy named Fellini, the mobster guy, but before they can ask for him, a cook is thrown across the room by an unseen person, clearly torn up. And now we meet Razor herself and, well, much as I hate to admit it, despite her impractical outfit, which resembles Nightcat's costume, if I may say so, and odd proportions, she's already a bazillion times more interesting than the Barbi Twins. I really dig the wrist blades; I'm always a fan of that kind of weapon. It really goes to show how sucky the Barbi Twins are as heroines when I'm enjoying the stabbing murderer more than them. Also, she's bulletproof. Seriously, check it out; they fire guns from point-blank range and not a single one of them affects her. The Barbi Twins start aiding in the fight. However, one guy grabs one of the twins and the other pulls out her super wrist watch, which fires dual beams. One is a laser and the other's a flamethrower. Who the hell gave them this cool crap?!
Shane: These guys'll be BARBI-cued!
(Linkara stares, poker-faced and so not amused, then cut to a clip of an episode of Robot Chicken showing Leonidas from 300, watching TV)
Leonidas: (angrily) This... isn't... FUNNY! (kicks TV over)
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): After some more fight stuff, one of the twins suddenly goes nuts, leading to an unnecessary two-page spread of the three women in completely implausible poses and one of the Barbi Twins yelling...
Shane: Now we're really going to KICK BUTT!!
Linkara: (deadpan tone) Yeah, boy howdy, I can just tell you're a badass. Oh, I'm sorry, pardon my language, a bad butt. Oh, I'm sorry, pardon my language, everything about this comic is bad! (glares)
Linkara (v/o): And so, this pointless story ends with Razor dragging Fellini away, and in their car, one of the twins asks the other why she went nuts, and it turns out it's because they messed up her hair.
Linkara: This is a comic that forces us to ask questions. Namely, there are three questions that I want answered.
(Cut to a clip of an IBM commercial featuring Avery Brooks)
Brooks: Why? Why? Why?
Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic sucks! The artwork is passable, but it cares more about showing off T.N.A. than actual storytelling, and the stories themselves are nonsensical and juvenile. It's just one constant eye roll after another with this. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll to Aqua's "Barbie Girl")
I also noticed that they're wearing different pink outfits on the cover than they are in the comic, but considering every other stupid thing about this comic...
You can't imagine my disappointment that this had nothing to do with the dolls. Seriously, I really wish this had been about Barbie dolls.
(Stinger: Harvey Finevoice comes out into the living room, playing on a Nintendo DS)
Harvey: I can't believe that kid only uses this thing for scanning crap.
(Harvey looks up and closes the Nintendo DS. He then walks over to 90s Kid and sighs with frustration)
Harvey: (holding up an index finger to 90s Kid) Look, against my better judgment, I'm going to allow you to accompany us again for karaoke night. Just don't sing until I give you the cue, capische?
90s Kid: Duuuuuude, I can't wait to get there and show them how you can make "Breakfast At Tiffany's" into the most HARDCORE ROCK SONG EVER! (makes "devil horn" signs with his hands)
Harvey: (rolls his eyes) Whatever. (walks off) Honestly, I don't even know why I bother.
(Suddenly, as he is walking, he spots the book from earlier placed on a box. He picks it up and skims through it. Most of the pages are blank, but then he spots the writing in the middle of the book. He looks up as a thought comes to him)
Harvey: I know about this... (his eyes widen in shock) I know what this is! (snaps book shut and puts it down) I gotta warn the kid!
(Suddenly, he hears the sound of the creepy buzzing sound that's been happening a lot lately. He turns to face whatever it is that's causing the noise)
Harvey: (pulling a gun on the source of the noise) STAY BACK!
(He fires several shots at the noise, but it proves in vain as the voice closes in on him, laughing creepily, as the room fills with static, and when it clears, Harvey Finevoice is gone)