Princess Leia #2 Spoilers & Review
Mark Waid, Writer
Terry Dodson, Pencils
Rachel Dodson, Inks
Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Princess Leia follows a similar path to Darth Vader. Both premier issues took place in familiar settings with iconic supporting characters. Using those as hooks, the two series then head into unexplored territory as their stories unfold. So in Princess Leia #2, there’s no sign of Luke, Han or Chewbacca. The Rebel base on Yavin is in the rear view mirror, and Leia embarks on her mission to rescue Alderaan’s surviving citizens.
This leads her to Naboo . . .
I wasn’t sure what I wanted or expected when Leia arrived at her birth mother’s home. Return of the Jedi made it clear Leia never knew Padme was her mother, and because of that continuity, there’s very little Waid can do with that plot thread. At the same time though, this is a hugely significant place for an important character. A single panel does provide a nod to the two women’s relationship, and that’s probably the best that can be achieved.
There are other glimpses of Leia’s past through some brief flashbacks to her childhood. Nothing overly ground breaking here: Leia was a headstrong child who eventually grew into the woman we now know. This leads to a genuinely sad moment as Leia quietly blames herself for failing her father due to Alderaan’s destruction.
On Naboo, the Princess and her companions must work undercover to rescue a small group of Alderaan citizens. Here, Leia displays her ingenuity and ass-kicking skills by going up against various thugs and dodging Imperial agents. Along the way she picks up a few new allies before finishing her work on Naboo.
Issue 2 ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, as the Empire has an unwitting mole amongst Leia’s band of refugees.
It’s not really fair to judge the Leia and Vader comics against each other. For people like me, there’s twisted delight in watching Darth Vader plot, wreak destruction and intimidate those around him. Princess Leia’s story is of course much different, and there’s a nobility to her story and mission. The emotional moments are effective with the allusions to Padme, and Leia’s belief that she failed her world.
One nagging problem I noticed through two issues is that there are times that Princess Leia doesn’t really seem like Princess Leia. It’s hard to explain, but her interactions with Evaan are when this is most noticeable to me.
As usual, the Dodson’s artwork is solid, and the portrayal of Leia’s more emotional moments, both the highs and lows, are particularly excellent.
Marvel has set the bar pretty high on its Star Wars comics so far. Princess Leia #2 might be the weakest issue of the three ongoing series. Again, it’s not entirely fair to compare it to the other books though, as they are much different in theme. The story itself is fine, and looks fantastic, so here’s hoping that it will pick up a bit.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed Princess Leia, and it presents a more emotional, uplifting story than Star Wars and Darth Vader. I’ll continue to buy.
Tags: Mark Waid, Marvel, Princess Leia, Star Wars