In Review: Princess Leia #4

The superior Star Wars comic book of the week.

The cover: Another sensational cover from Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Jordie Bellaire. A bust shot of Leia holding her blaster is the predominant image in this piece. Above and behind her are Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters flying forward. To her lower right are four stormtroopers against the iconic lighting of all Imperial facilities. To her lower left are Evaan Verlaine and Artoo-Detoo. Everything looks great, with Leia looking as if she’s going to have to make a tough decision quickly. I love the coloring on this as well, with the violet background working really well with Leia’s skin and her fighter jacket and gloves. Excellent coloring on the troopers, too. Overall grade: A+

The story: The Lord Junn has docked with Nien Nunb’s Mellcrawler, so Evaan has a chance to reconnect with her friend. He’s bringing new weapons the Rebellion has purchased, which pleases Leia greatly, but this moment is interrupted by Jora bringing in Tace, who has been found to have been the tip off to the Imperials of the princess’s location. Leia orders Jora to remove the young girl’s restraints, which causes Astane to wonder if she should be “bowing and scraping” to Leia. One on one with the girl, Leia learns who the girl is speaking to and a plan is hatched to find out more about her sister Tula. However, Leia is supposed to be going to Espirion for reunification talks with its Alderaanians. Two others will be going in her place, and this leads to complications. Mark Waid is weaving his way masterfully through Leia’s dual goals as a freedom fighter and a diplomat. The growing tension between her and Jora is going to explode eventually and I can’t wait for it to happen. What occurs on Pages 10 and 11 is painful to see, but shouldn’t have been unexpected. What Leia decides to do because of this event is startling and leads me to wonder that she must have a plan. I was also impressed with what happens on Espirion. I was not a fan of the diplomatic moves of the prequels, but Waid makes them work in this book, and I wanted to yell at Uwa that she shouldn’t have made that promise at the bottom of Page 14. The last page is classic Star Wars, with Leia’s face saying so much. Overall grade: A

The art: Terry Dodson on pencils and Rachel Dodson on inks continue to show they are a stunning pair for visuals. Their characters are absolutely marvelous: Evaan on Page 1, Tace on 4 and 5, Rill and Beon on 8, Dreed on 11, and Leia stunning on 2, the bottom of 5, all of 10, 12 and 13 (with her reenacting “that” scene!!!), and that final panel on 20. This pair aren’t just amazing on their people, because their settings are equally superior. The interiors of the Lord Junn are different enough from anything seen in any Star Wars venture to be unique, but maintain just enough familiarity to blend into this saga seamlessly; the bridge and Tace’s quarters are excellent examples of this. The Imperial facility, though seen briefly, has all the sharp, clean angles and iconic lighting one would recognize from the films. Espirion is the location that really shines. Its smooth curves create a classic feel from a work by Moebius, This planet’s exteriors and interiors are beautiful; heck, even the chairs are awesome looking. I’m hopeful that the book returns here soon and explores more of this planet’s environment. And speaking of environments, a very familiar one is the setting for the final five pages. I love the dust trails that the characters leave in the ground as they move; it makes the actions of the characters seem dirtier. I know the Dodsons can’t stay on this book forever, but if I could wish…Overall grade: A+

The colors: My comments on the art are ditto for Jordie Bellaire. Her work is gorgeous. I love the hair colors on Evaan. It should just be a solid blonde, with some minor highlights, but Bellaire makes the colors of her coiffure stunning. Even an unloading bay is interesting to look at because of the colors. I also like how Nien Nunb’s top is his go-to red, making him stand out even more aboard the Lord Junn. The nail colors on Tace instantly peg her into an age category, and left my thirteen year old daughter with thoughts on how to do her own nails this weekend. Espirion is a joyously colored environment with pastels that make me want to see more of this world. The sky of the final world is also a delight, as it’s done to emphasize the winds blowing on the planet’s surface. Can Bellaire do this book forever? Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, excellent Sullustan speech, sounds, and communication transmissions are created by VC’s Joe Caramagna. Love the Sullustan dialogue, but still not liking the normal dialogue. Overall grade: B  

The final line: The superior Star Wars comic book of the week. This is the title you use to convert people into fans of the films and comics. Recommended. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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