Princess Leia #1 Packs A PunchMarch 7, 2015
She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’ll put a pistol in your face, it’s Leia! That’s right, everyone’s favorite space princess is starring in her own Marvel series!
Princess Leia #1 follows Leia Organa shortly after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. For fear of her life, the Rebel Alliance refuses to send her on missions against the Empire. Having never been one to just sit around and wait, Leia decides to go off on her own to find the remaining survivors of Alderaan.
There’s always a certain level of difficulty when writing for a preexisting franchise. Fans have expectations that writers try to meet while expanding the existing universe. Creative teams have to consider how they wish to present well-established characters in new and familiar ways. Mark Waid (Daredevil) has no trouble with this and the issue feels like a direct continuation of Star Wars: A New Hope. The focus on Leia’s state of mind, in the aftermath of the loss of Alderaan, gives readers insight into Leia’s conflicting desires as both a princess and a rebel leader. Even while exploring Leia’s psychology, Waid manages to balance the seriousness with witty dialogue. Waid’s characterization of Leia honors the canon and expands upon it in a way the movies were never able to accomplish. It will be interesting to see how he builds the character in future issues.
Assisting Leia is rebel-pilot Evann, whose strong sense of loyalty leads her to follow the princess even though she doesn’t always agree with her. They share an undeniable chemistry and it will exciting to see their relationship grow stronger over time. Evann is a welcomed addition to Star Wars, and a perfect knight to fight alongside a princess.
There are not enough good things to say about the Terry and Rachel Dodson’s (X-Men) art. They’re a powerhouse in the industry and seeing them draw such amazing female characters is always a delight. The Dodson’s understand the fashion of the Star Wars universe, which makes the series feel like an extension of the films. Their ability to capture a wide range of emotions help readers grasp Leia’s state of mind even more than Waid’s dialogue. Between the Dodson’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s master coloring, the issue has sense of style that sets it apart from the other the Star Wars series. On a side note, I love how Leia is drawn much shorter than the other characters, even Evann towers over her. It’s a minor detail, but it shows how much dedication went into capturing the feel of the original trilogy. I’m glad the tradition of short fiery, princesses continues into the comics.
I wish more books were like Leia. The creative team could have easily chosen Han or Luke to assist her, but they took a chance with a new female character. There are not enough lady team-up comics in this world, so I’m glad Leia turned out to be that kind of series. While some might find the heavy amount of dialogue daunting I thought it was necessary to set the stage for future events. The first issue isn’t the adrenaline rush everyone was hoping for, but Waid and Co. have set a high bar for where they plan to go with the series and there will be action in the future!
Princess Leia #1 is a perfect expansion of the Star Wars universe. The creative team has a definite grasp on the character and I can’t wait to see what new things they are able to introduce in future issues.
[Image via CBR]