by Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt
The story of the Princeless universe is a very entertaining one. Adrienne Ashe has set out to free the princesses of the world and prove that they do not need to wait for someone to come save them. These ladies are quite capable of saving themselves. Whitley has done a nice job in creating a great lead and supporting characters in a series full of charm and positive messages. In the latest series, the princess comes across Raven Xingtao, who might be a bit different from the princesses that Adrienne is used to meeting.
Pirate Princess #1 opens almost similarly to Fairy Quest in its fusion of seeing the events of a bedtime story presented to the viewer. Quickly, the story cuts to a man reading to his daughter. The adventures are of her great-grandmothers and the young girl is Raven Xingtao. Her father is quite thrilled by the girls excitement for learning to become a great fighter and soon after the story jumps forward. Finding Raven atop a tower, clearly something has gone wrong. This is a familiar scene for the Princeless series and it is not long before Adrienne and Bedelia come flying over to save the day. As the two land and face the prince below, Raven prepares her escape and it is here that readers may begin to distrust the princess. Nicknamed, “Black Arrow,” the young lady drops a few lines that may leave some looking at her sideways. Is this just another fantastic supporting character in the universe, or is Raven more trouble than she lets on?
The ensuing battle and chase scene are tons of fun and Whitley reminds readers of the series just how capable he is at crafting a quick-paced and humorous script. Honestly, any time a successful “Nyuk Nyuk,” eye-poking reference can land as strongly as this, the issue is bound to find a ton of smiles amongst its readership. Pirate Princess is light and entertaining from the very beginning and even manages to add in some intrigue with Raven Xingtao. Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt are on art duties here and they match Whitley’s tone quite well. The book is filled with bright colors and energetic imagery. At times, the art feels a bit underdeveloped when backgrounds are dropped mid-sequence to emphasize the motion. While this can be effective, the size of the panels and the frequency of the tactic do distract a bit. Otherwise, the art is a great fit for the kid-friendly book.
Princeless: The Pirate Princess is the continuation of a previous Free Comic Book Day issue, one that many did not expect to see again. Fortunately, Whitley has brought the tale back with this mini, and it looks to be a blast. Pirate Princess is absolutely a great book for young readers. The art style and story structure are certainly entertaining for adults as well, but the book does feel more directed at children than an all-ages audience. Either way, Whitley continues to produce solid stories within the universe and proving time and again how strong female characters can exist, should exist, and are just as awesome as their male counterparts.