Princess Leia #2

Princess Leia #2

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Terry Dodson
Inker: Rachel Dodson
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson

Just two weeks after the release of Princess Leia #1, issue #2 is already out. Sadly, it’s not much better than the first one. While the story for the series is becoming more apparent, as is the characterization for Leia, it’s not all for the better. There’s some action, some intrigue and some character building, but it’s nothing that will blow your socks off. In her mission to save every every surviving Alderaanian, her and Evaan head to Naboo to find a secret cloister of Alderaanians.

In this issue, we see Leia and Evaan struggling to work together in their mission to help Alderaanian survivors. There’s still a lot of tension in their relationship. Evaan tries to treat Leia like the royalty of her past station, while Leia wants Evaan to be her close confidant. Regardless, they do manage to sneak past Imperials on Naboo, fight there way out of a close scrape, and get off planet with their first batch of survivors. Yet with only three more issues left in this series, they still have a long way to go if they’re to form a strong bond of trust, let alone save what’s left of Alderaan.

With issue #1, I was struggling to figure out the characterization Mark Waid was going for with Leia. After reading issue #2, I have a better understanding of what he’s doing with her. Or at least a lot stronger impression of the character, as I’m not sure my opinion is what he’s truly aiming for. From what I can gather, Leia is being portrayed as the young, tough, naive woman of action. It’s certainly not the best portrayal of Leia I’ve ever seen, and not one that I want being canon. Regardless, that’s how she’s coming across. In a way, it starts when Leia remonstrates herself for failing her father in keeping Alderaan alive. The flashback scene it ties to clearly plays into what she’s doing, attempting to save the surviving Alderaanians to preserve their culture and art. Yet she blames herself for Alderaan being blown up by the Empire and thinks she failed her father. When I read that line, it made me stop and think about the situation, as I myself did not think Leia failed her father, so I had to stop and figure out why she was blaming herself. Her reasoning wasn’t readily apparent.

Leia - Now and Then

The second point that struck me was when Leia and Evaan arrive on Naboo. One of the first things she says is, “Thrilling, isn’t it? At large in the universe, living by our wits.” That doesn’t sound like something Leia would say, at least not the Leia we see in the movies. In the films, Leia is a very serious, down to business person. She has her game face on for the Rebellion just about all the time. Yet here she’s going around like a kid on a field trip. She’s saying how exciting it is traveling around on their own little mission with no money. Then later on she remarks how “Artoo’s here to handle it. Believe me, I’ve never seen a jam he couldn’t beep his way out of.” That there rings a bit like naiveté. Does she really think so highly of R2-D2? Later on we come to find out that R2 isn’t all that great as their fake name trick didn’t work at all. The last straw, however, is when she makes a deal with the person who doublecrossed her. This guy openly admits to trying to kill her and the Alderaanians in hiding. So rather than shooting him or taking him prisoner, she lets him off in return for a ship. Common sense would say “shoot him or take him prisoner then take his ship.” Furthermore, who is to say his ship isn’t bugged with some tracking device and that he won’t sell her out again for some credits or to get himself in the good graces of the Empire? That would certainly be the logical next step if that guy were to stay true to his character. Yet Leia exhibits her naiveté by getting suckered again, grasping a quick solution, and rushing off again into action.

As weak as the story and characterizations continue to be, there are some interesting elements in this issue. For starters, I liked the flashback scene of Leia as a kid doing some combat training and interacting with her father for some early life lessons. I also liked the few subtle nods we got that she is sad about the loss of her parents. Then there was the scene where an image of Padme turned to look at her. This raised all kinds of questions. Does she know Padme is her mother? Was the picture turning to look at her a Force vision or Force ghost? And most importantly, will this come back into play later in the series? I really really hope so as that could be a very cool storythread to explore. The final element that drew my attention was the last panel. Without giving away too much, it sets a time bomb in Leia’s midst, and probably starts the time clock for this five issue series.

Ridiculous Action Pose

Aside from the storytelling, the artwork has a lot of plus and minuses. Generally, it’s not too bad. It’s very stylistic, but it manages to convey the action, the story, and the emotion of the characters. There’s some good scenes as well. I liked the first flashback which cuts from a closeup panel of Leia’s eyes, to a slightly zoomed out shot of the same face but back when she was a child. It has a nice resonance to it and it’s a great way to establish the flashback. The final three panels do a good job of setting up the punch of that parting surprise, and there are a couple good shots of Leia where she actually looks like Leia. On the bad side, I noticed Evaan’s eyes change color from blue to yellow to brown and that panel of Leia pulling the gun on Junn clubbed me over the head with how overly goofy it looked. She has her chest thrust way forward, her rear thrust way back, and her legs spread wide to accentuate every curve the artist could think of for a pose that’s just silly and totally threw me out of the comic for a moment. But that’s not the worst panel in the issue. The worst one is when she lands her ship in town to meet with Mul Sanaka and everyone is fleeing because they think it’s the Imperials. While the art isn’t great in that scene, the killer is the dialog. I had to read it a couple times to figure out what was going on, and once it hit me, it felt like some really cheap, crummy dialog. “Out!” “Imperial shuttle!” “Stormtroopers get you!” “Go!” “Fast!” I’m not sure if Mark Waid was just breezing through that panel, or if he wanted the crowd to feel like a bunch of really dumb gungans.

Worst Panel

With the best part of this issue being the cover, I give Princess Leia #2 a two and half metal bikinis. The story is starting to get somewhere and this issue was a lot less confusing and all over the place than Princess Leia #1. That said, it’s not a great issue. I don’t think it’s worth the $3.99 cover price. Nevertheless, it is readable.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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