In Review: Princess Leia #2

Leia journeys to a familiar world on a mercy mission and finds plenty of trouble. Recommended.

The cover: I have to admit I’m really happy that there’s only one cover to this newest Star Wars comic–I was about to go broke in the middle of this month trying to play keep up! This image is by those responsible for the interior images, penciller Terry Dodson, inker Rachel Dodson, and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Leia, Artoo, and Evaan are entering a residence without being invited, as shown by their weapons being drawn. Leia’s cape, the curtains, and the design of the light fixture makes this cover look as if a gentle breeze is blowing. Every element of this is working, with the city in the background looking especially detailed. Plus, it’s always impressive to see an art team do a really successful Artoo, and this one certainly is. The coloring by Bellaire is also good; its pale colors gives it an art deco feel. The logo does bleed a bit into the colors of the lights, but that’s a minor nit. Overall grade: A

The story: The three cover characters are on a rescue mission to protect all the remaining Alderaanians in the galaxy, which brings them to a familiar world from Episode I. Before they get there, Leia and Evaan have some traditional Alderaan food, which sparks a flashback where Leia is picked up by her father, Bail Organa. The memory grows bittersweet as the father tells his little princess, “Whatever happens, Leia, you must keep Alderaan alive.” Ouch! That’s an early gut punch in this story from Mark Waid, but there’s a better one on Page 8 that will have fans screaming. After seeing an old friend who assists them, Leia and Evaan make their way to find the people without a world, and, naturally, it doesn’t go as planned. Page 7 has a good throwaway line for Leia’s alias, and it was good to have her be a little cocky, as she should be at this age. Evaan is the princess’s reality check throughout the issue, functioning as her Jimmy Cricket, albeit with a blaster. I wasn’t surprised by the reveal on Page 18 as the small cast made it fairly obvious. I did find the character enjoyable and would look forward to seeing this individual again. This issue did have two strong surprises, with the first being the characters that appear on Page 13. They were very different from the one individual seen in one of the films and they are a race that deserve some expansion. They made good foes and I would really welcome their reappearance in any Marvel Star Wars book. The last page held the best moment of the book, actually eliciting a gasp from me. After I moment, I realized it made sense, and it is one of the oldest plot twists in the book, but Waid pulls it off like a champ and has me anxious to see what this shocker has in store for future issues in this series. Overall grade: A

The art: I’m late to game in stating the obvious, but Terry Dodson on pencils and Rachel Dodson on inks make some beautiful artwork. Watching artists perfectly match the design from the films is an amazing thing, and this pair do a jaw dropping job on the characters (Leia, Artoo, Bail, the image on 8, and the characters on 13), the ships (such as Bail’s), and gorgeous settings. The planet that the trio goes to is every bit as magnificent as the one shown in the films, though this book goes to several places not in the films. They do an expert job in adding new settings to this world, while making it completely relatable to the ones seen in the movies. Leia walking around in disguise with just a hood to hide her infamous face is beautiful. I can just see the cosplayers going crazy with this look. The setting that first appears on Page 12 is fantastic, and the visuals that show what happens there are even better. The expressions on the character that watches what occurs is great. The standout image is on Page 18 in the largest panel. That is an iconic pose for that character that makes that individual look like a hero. It is brilliant. The two final panels on 19 are a great example of characterization through opposites. No dialogue is needed (but it sure is good!) to understand what’s going on between the pair. The last panel on the final page is a great shock, and please take note of how the object is being held by the character furthest to the right. Wow! Subtle awesomeness. The visuals on this book will make people fall in love with this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: This book should be required reading for up and coming colorists. Jordie Bellaire is given opportunities to do a lot of different types of colors throughout this book and all of them look marvelous. The coloring for the flashback is bold and striking, mirroring what a childhood memory should be. It’s replaced by the cold, cool, dark interiors of Evaan’s ship when it ends, which makes the flashback even sadder. The interior of the setting on Page 5 is perfectly bright, with the blues instantly altering readers to what they’re looking at. The arrival of the heroes on the planet on Page 7 is an explosion of classic, regal colors, and when the location goes to a night scene on page 12 it’s stunning. I would want to live there just because of the colors. Bellaire is making the visuals classy and strong. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, sound effects (YES!–There should be more in this book and all Star Wars titles), scene settings, and Artoo beeps are crafted by VC’s Joe Caramagna. I want the dialogue to be a thicker line that what’s being done, as it makes the characters’ dialogue, regardless of species, seem frail. I was excited to see sounds during the action scene, but some more sounds could have been inserted to make it more fun. Overall grade: B+

The final line: An excellent book for old and new fans. Leia journeys to a familiar world on a mercy mission and finds plenty of trouble. 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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