Sunday, March 8, 2015

I Reads You Review: PRINCESS LEIA #1


["Star Wars Central" review page is here.]

WRITER: Mark Waid
PENCILS: Terry Dodson
INKS: Rachel Dodson
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: VC's Joe Caramagna
COVER: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
VARIANT COVERS: Alex Ross; Mark Brooks; J. Scott Campbell; John Cassaday; John Tyler Christopher; Butch Guice; Gabriele Del'Otto; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (May 2015)

Rated T

Princess Leia: Part 1

The third title to come out of Marvel Comics' return to publishing Star Wars comic books is Princess Leia.  A five-issue miniseries, Princess Leia is written by Mark Waid, pencilled by Terry Dodson, inked by Rachel Dodson, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Joe Caramagna.

Princess Leia #1 (“Part 1”) opens during what is the final scene in the original Star Wars (1977), the awarding of medals to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.  The Rebel Alliance has just scored a major victor at the Battle of Yavin by destroying the evil Galactic Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, but the rebels have little time to celebrate or to even mourn their dead.

Princess Leia Organa is ready to move on to the next stage in the battle against the Empire, so she is surprised to discover that her new role is to be a protected asset.  A contentious encounter with Evaan, a pilot who is also from Leia's now-destroyed home world of Alderaan, spurs Leia into action with a new mission.  Her fellow rebels, however, may not like Leia's new mission.

I must admit for the third time that I am pleasantly surprised by Marvel's new Star Wars comics.  Marvel's flagship Star Wars and the recently launched Darth Vader comic book surprised me by being more enjoyable than I expected, especially Darth Vader.  When writer Mark Waid is good, he is usually really good, and he seems ready to let Leia show herself in full bloom – without having to share the narrative with either Luke or Han.  The original Star Wars films only hinted at Leia's full capabilities as a rebel leader, as a warrior, as a woman, and as a bad-ass.  It looks like Waid is going to try to tap into every bit of her potential.

As for the art:  many readers of Star Wars comic books have probably wanted an Adam Hughes-drawn Star Wars comic book since the first time we ever saw Hughes draw a Star Wars illustration.  Terry Dodson has a drawing style that is clearly influenced by Hughes, so we finally have a Adam Hughes Star Wars comic book in Princess Leia, or as close as we are likely every going to get.  Some of Dodson's composition in this first issue is a bit awkward, but Terry and Rachel Dodson have captured the spirit of classic Star Wars.  So I have decided to follow where Waid and the Dodsons take me on this galactic adventure.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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