Princess Leia #1 (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4/5 – The Force is Strong In This One.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Amy Okamoto.

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was big enough to swing a plastic lightsaber. Princess Leia is among the first female action heroes that I was exposed to, so the announcement that Marvel would be including a Leia comic in the relaunch of the Star Wars line was met with both excitement and trepidation. I needn’t have worried. Like the previously released Marvel Star Wars and Darth Vader books, Mark Waid delivers a fresh new story in Princess Leia #1 about the beloved characters and an enjoyable read. While it deviates from what we believe we know about Leia’s status with the rebel alliance, it does offer us a novel new direction for adventure.

The story begins at the well-known ceremony scene on Yavin. One of my quibbles with the Star Wars movies is that they never acknowledged the grief and shock that Leia must have experienced after the death of her entire world. This book addresses how Leia ultimately channels her grief with the bonus of seeing her behavior from the perspective of fellow rebels. Leia is struggling to find her role in the rebellion now that the senate no longer exists. As the last surviving royal of Alderaan, she chafes against both the formality of her title and the protections set in place for her. Perceived as cold and unfeeling by rebel soldiers – a concept that hasn’t been seen in the Star Wars universe before – Leia forms an unlikely alliance with a new character, Evaan. A female pilot from Alderaan and an admirer of Leia’s parents, the duty-bound Evaan agrees to help Leia on a mission to save what’s left of Alderaan culture and its people from around the galaxy.

Evaan is an interesting new player. Although she disapproves of Leia, she holds the royalty of Alderaan in high esteem. Dedicated to the rebellion and crafty enough to outfox Luke and Wedge in a pilot skirmish, in some regards she reminds me of a highly moral Han Solo. Leia clearly likes her, and although Evaan refuses to consider Leia as a friend, I imagine that there will be a growing bond of mutual admiration.  Penciller Terry Dodson, inker Rachel Dodson, and colorist Jordie Bellaire provide solid work throughout the book. Overall I liked the depictions of the characters, but I thought the heavy lining of Luke’s eyes made him look effeminate. Rather than attempt to dutifully re-create the actors in the movie roles, Dodson’s art is more whimsical and lends to the idea of science fiction fantasy.

Princess Leia #1 is the first in a five issue mini-series. Although it does alter some of our perceptions of certain characters, it still offers a strong and unexpected plot that has a lot of promise for future adventure. We won’t have long to wait for the next issue which is out on March 18. Now that the groundwork has been laid, I’m looking forward to seeing if this adventure takes off.

Reviewed by: Amy Okamoto
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