In Review: Princess Leia #5

A not to be missed treasure for every Star Wars fan. Recommended.

The cover: On the planet of Skaradosh, Leia Organa turns to see that the stormtrooper behind her has been taken care of. A lone trail of smoke from his chest shows that the princess hit her mark, but she holds her gun ready should someone else from the Empire move against her. Superior cover by interior artist and colorist Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson. The princess’s hair captures the motion of her head, as her cape shows the movement of her body. Excellent coloring on everything. I love desert worlds in Star Wars, so it’s really neat to see her on this world, let alone taking out a trooper. I want this to be a print so badly! Overall grade: A+

The story: On the planet Espirion, Pareece tries to have Beon Beonel meet with Leia, but is blown off by the representative, which gratifies Jora who considers the Espririons to be lesser than full-blooded Alderaanians. Meanwhile, on Skaradosh, Leia has given herself up to Imperial forces to arrange a trade for Tace’s sister, who betrayed the princess’s location to the Empire. As manacles are being placed around her wrists, a ship is heard descending rapidly. It’s a double-cross, with Evaan flying the ship. Without spoiling too much, stuff happens, and the story moves back to Espirion, where events go epic. This issue concludes Leia’s adventures trying to pool all the survivors of her homeworld together. There’s a major battle at the end, and Mark Waid does it with outstanding style, creating a rousing speech on Pages 12 – 14 that is the best that any Star Wars book has ever had. Yes, it’s that good. What I didn’t like was the ending, but that’s not Waid’s fault. Obviously, Leia has to exit this story unscathed to appear in The Empire Strikes Back, and Waid has to wrap things up for the next story arc and I wanted this to continue. The story is finished on Page 18, though it could be revisited. I liked the action, I liked the thinking from Leia, and I loved that speech and its results. I guess my only complaint is the best compliment I can give to Waid: I didn’t want this to end. Overall grade: A

The art: The work on this book by penciller Terry Dodson and inker Rachel Dodson is fantastic. The opening page shows the surface of Espirion. It is completely different from anything seen in the Star Wars Universe, save the brief glimpse of Alderaan at the end of Revenge of the Sith. It’s a beautiful city of smooth, curving lines and shapes. This quick look is gone with a turn of a page and onto Skaradosh, a world not unlike Tatoonie. Just over three pages are spent on this world and it looks great and the action that occurs there fantastic. The majority of the book is set within various ships in space. The top of Page 8 is great — that’s exactly the type of crafts that would be seen in the situation that the characters find themselves in. The vessel seen on 13 – 16 is brilliant. Just seeing this ship will thrill fans, especially the second panel on Page 15 that is reminiscent of a scene from Episode IV. The characters look equally wonderful. Leia is perfect. Even when she’s not speaking or moving — she’s just making a face at another character in the fourth panel on Page 10 — it’s brilliant. When she puts on gloves on 12 it’s a very subtle addition to her wardrobe, but it fits perfectly with what she’s doing and makes her look just so darned cool! Her image at the bottom of Page 19 will melt hearts. Evaan also looks fanastic, shooting her blaster, making comments during a meeting, or for what transpires on 18. Page 16 has an image that will make readers hear John Williams’ score. The visuals on this book are spectacular. Overall grade: A+ 

The colors: I fell in love with the coloring on this book by Jordie Bellaire right from the get go on Page 1: Espirion is gorgeous just for its colors. I want to move there to be surrounded by those colors. The desert world of Skaradosh has the expected yellows and tans one would expect, but the arrival of another vessel and its accompanying sounds change up the color scheme completely; I love the red and pale violet sounds on 2 and 3. The detail put into characters’ hair is also impressive, such as with Evaan on 11 and Beon on 13. She’s also doing super work on characters’ clothes, as is evidenced on Leia on every page. Artoo-Detoo is also impressive with the nice work done him to complete his metal exterior. Bellaire is knocking this out of the park along with the Dodsons. Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna creates scene settings, dialogue, sounds, a certain alien dialect on 5, transmissions, and a name yelled. I’m not liking the thin linework on the dialogue, but the rest looks fine. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A not to be missed treasure for every Star Wars fan. 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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