Sky Doll

Writer(s): Alessandro Barbucci
Artist(s): Barbara Canepa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
ISBN: 978-0785132363
Price: $24.99
Page count: 144
Year Released: 2008
Status: in print
Original Source: Sky Doll 1-3 (originally published in Italy by Pavesio Editions)
Other Collected Edition(s): n/a
Genres: adventure; foreign lit; romance/relationships; science fiction
Recommended for Fans Of: spaceships and cheesecake
Possibly Objectionable Material: nudity; violence; coarse language; drug use; sexual situations; religious aspects that may upset some Catholics
If You Like This Book, Try: Wake
Also in This Series: n/a

Plot Summary
On the planet Papathea, the Church of the holy mother Lodovica is all-powerful. That's because religion isn't just big business on Papathea--it's the only business. But Lodovica hasn't always been solely in charge. Her sister, Agape, was the spiritual counterpart to Lodovica's carnal side. But when Agape's disciples began to outnumber Lodovica's, Lodovica had Agape desanctified, effectively driving Agape and her followers underground as heretics.

Years later, two missionary corps agents are on a diplomatic mission to the planet Aqua, a planet populated entirely by females where a mysterious (and entirely unsanctioned) religion has taken hold. Along the way, Roy and Jahu stop at the Heaven Spaceship Wash to get their vehicle serviced. There, Roy meets Noa, a sky doll. Sky dolls are androids built to serve the needs of those who are rich enough to own them, and Noa is desperate to escape from her owner. Stowing away in Roy and Jahu's ship, she accompanies them on their mission. Soon enough, it becomes clear that Noa, who has been experiencing some strange transformations, may have a mission of her own on Aqua.

My Own 2 Cents
Sky Doll features gorgeous European-style artwork, but the two-dimensional characters take a backseat to the plot, which, in turn, is not particularly compelling. In fact, the story ends just as it's about to get interesting. Learning how the characters deal with the events at the end of the book is what would have (hopefully) breathed some life into Roy, Jahu, and Noa.

My understanding is that Barbucci and Canepa are at work on a fourth Sky Doll volume (this book collects the first three). It's still too early to know whether Marvel will publish that fourth volume in English.