Initially, Barbie was a resident of the same apartment building Rose Walker moved into, and she was happily involved with a man called Ken. They were a very yuppie couple. Barbie used to dream of being in a world called "The Land". The Land was a magical, fantasy kingdom in which she was a princess deposed by the evil Cuckoo. She was protected and loved by a band of courageous anthropomorphic animals, including Wilkinson, Prinado, a dodo named Luz, and Martin Ten-Bones. She was fighting to save her world, and her subjects from the Cuckoo.
Eventually, Rose Walker's dream vortex abilities left Barbie unable to dream. The relationship withKen broke down, and she moved to New York to tried to redefine herself.
She became very close with a pre-operative transsexual, Wanda who lived in her building. Two other residents were Thessaly, a millennia old witch, and a quiet man called George. Unexpectedly, while she was out with Wanda, she encountered Martin Tenbones in the middle of Manhattan. Martin was one of the fantasy denizens of The Land Barbie had once dreamed of. Martin had traveled from the Dreaming to give Barbie the Porpentine, a quartz amulet of great power. Martin tried to warn Barbie of the Cuckoo before he was gunned down by the police.
Barbie dreamed that night, for the first time in years, as a result of the Porpentine. She returned to The Land, and while she slept, George, an agent of the Cuckoo, made his move and tried to disable of all Barbie's housemates and hurt Barbie. His plan was foiled by Thessaly, resistant to his magic, and she killed him. She traveled into the Dreaming but her passage in the Dreaming created a storm, causing destruction in the waking world, and Wanda died in the storm.
In the Dreaming, Barbie was captured by the Cuckoo who told her it wanted to destroy the dream land so it could go free, and to do this it needed the Porpentine. But when the cuckoo attempted to destroy it, Morpheus was summoned by the action.