Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Barda

Big Barda is a fictional comic book superheroine appearing in books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Mister Miracle #4 (October 1971), and was created by Jack Kirby.

In a reversal of the stereotype associated with female characters at the time of her creation, Barda is physically more powerful than her husband and very protective of him.

Jack Kirby based Barda's physical appearance on Lainie Kazan, who had recently appeared topless in Playboy. Mark Evanier, Kirby's assistant during the Fourth World comics, has stated, "Jack based some of his characters (not all) on people in his life or in the news... the characterization between Scott 'Mister Miracle' Free and Barda was based largely—though with tongue in cheek—on the interplay betwixt Jack and his wife Roz." Big Barda was ranked 75th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.

Barda was born of the race of New Gods about 250 years ago, on Apokolips. Her mother was named Big Breeda, but Barda was taken away from her at an early age to be trained as a warrior. She was a product of Granny Goodness' Home for Orphaned Youth. Granny's motto is "Die for Darkseid" (the planet's evil ruler). Granny groomed Barda to one day lead the Female Fury Battalion, a ferocious pack of warrior women. However, during a raid, Barda meets Scott Free, Darkseid's adopted son, and, sensing a peace about him, fell in love.

Barda risked her own safety to work with the rebel cell led by the New God Himon. Barda, Himon and Metron assist Scott in escaping Apokolips. She doesn't leave at that point for gravity manipulation had disabled her and she didn't wish to slow Scott down in his flight. Eventually, Barda completely turns her back on Granny and came to Earth herself. Scott had become an escape artist called Mister Miracle, and is teamed with Oberon, his diminutive manager. For a while, Barda's Furies assist Scott in his showmanship efforts but they return to Apololips by themselves. Scott and Barda are married by Scott's father, the Highfather of New Genesis.

For a number of years, Barda followed Scott and Oberon on tour. Eventually they retired as superheroes and moved to Bailey, New Hampshire. However, despite their best attempts, a normal life eluded them. Disasters plagued them; Barda, Scott, and Oberon left Bailey and moved to a loft in Greenwich Village, New York City. Barda formed a defense-training program for women called the New Female Furies.

Though naïve regarding Earth customs, Barda relished her roles of wife and housekeeper. However, when duty called she never hesitated to assume the posture of a warrior; and when Scott joined the Justice League, Barda participated in several missions. In one instance, while training Fire, her weapon, the Mega-Rod is stolen from her car. With the assistance of her husband and the Huntress, she gets it back, but not before many innocent people were killed by its wielder who was unable to resist the corrupting influence of the Apokoliptian technology. Barda also led a JLA mission to rescue her husband after he was lost in space. The mission was a result of Manga Khan selling Scott to Granny Goodness. Her teammates included Martian Manhunter, Rocket Red, and G'nort. In an attempt to dissuade their successful pursuit, Manga Khan hired Lobo, paying him in dolphin feed, to kill them. He almost does, before Barda teleported him to a random location, that being ten feet behind Guy Gardner's skull. The repercussions of that literal meeting of the minds would last for years.

For a time, Barda mourned Scott, believing him slain in a battle with Despero. It had been a robot double destroyed, this was part of a plan by Manga Khan.

After their time with the JLI, the two left Earth for New Genesis. However, they soon returned to Earth and took up temporary residence aboard the Justice League Refuge. During this period, the couple separated briefly due to Scott's lack of consideration for her feelings.

Barda has served as a member of the JLA in her own right as well. At Takion's order, she and fellow New God Orion were sent as agents of New Genesis to serve on the team. Takion predicted that the Earth faced a grave threat.Their mission is to help mobilize Earth's heroes against the omnipotent Mageddon. Over time, they become involved with several other JLA missions. Adam Strange, needing help with an alien invasion, enslaved the JLA as part of a bluff. The League worked for days, turning the planet into a giant teleportation beam. The aliens were sent off to the prison planet of Takron-Galtos, which Barda had mentioned several times during the ordeal. In another instance, Barda was badly wounded fighting the Queen Bee, a member of the newly reformed Injustice League. Once Mageddon was defeated, Barda and Orion resigned from the JLA.

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