It’s still very weird to say, “Star Wars is printed by one of the big 2” but we must forget all that, including previous stories published by Dark Horse, and move on. It’s a bit difficult for me since I enjoyed Brian Wood’s Star Wars series. That said, the keyword in the title of this series is ‘Princess’…but what does that mean for the series? Is it good?
Princess Leia #1 (Marvel Comics)
The illustrious Mark Waid writes this series opener which opens on the ceremony that ended A New Hope. Leia is in queen garb, and Chewie, Han, Luke and the robots are all standing amongst X-Wing pilots and have received their medals. That sets this series a bit further in the past than the other Marvel Star Wars comics so far.
Overall Waid writes a rather good issue that sets up the purpose of the title. It’s a bit surprising that she’s being denigrated to a princess that should be protected in a locked chamber considering over in Star Wars she’s running around with Han and Luke on rebel missions, but it makes a lot of sense if you think about where her character was at in the first film. I like this direction mostly because it’s a compelling tact. She was always a hardened character that did what she wanted, but if you think about how she went from princess to rebel between the films there must have been some growing pains.
The series also seems to be focused on the fallout of Alderaan and its remaining people. It’s a nice focus since refugees being hunted is a story we can relate to and understand, but this gives it all a science fiction twist. As I said in the opening however, I believe Brian Wood explored this as well which makes it a little less fresh, but you can’t fault Waid for wanting to explore it.
Those of you looking for action packed storytelling should look elsewhere, at least as far as this issue is concerned. This issue aims to do two things and it does those things well. First is it establishes Leia’s motivation and goal and the second is it establishes a new female X-Wing fighter character who has a unique and compelling dynamic to share with Leia. This character is from Alderaan too, happens to have known Leia’s mother and wants to uphold Leia’s standing as princess as best she can, in the face of a world where she really isn’t a princess anymore. That calls back to the purpose of the title itself, and the very title as well, as it’s clearly focused on showing us a Leia who’s in that middle ground of princess and rebel and possibly how she evolves between them.
A little coincidental isn’t it?
The art by Terry Dodson is good and suits the dialogue heavy story. Anyone else getting an Olivia Munn vibe from the cover? The style is surprisingly close to what Carlos D’Anda was doing on Dark Horse’s 2013 series Star Wars which further connects the series in my opinion. It’s very solid and character focused with less frivolity with action and layouts than other artists a bit of a cell shading thing going on. All in all it suits the story and works well.
That would get annoying.
Is It Good?
This issue does a great job setting up where Leia is at mentally after A New Hope and setting her on a new course of Alderaan redemption. It is a bit slow and dialogue heavy though, so expect less boom boom and more talky talky.