By Mark Waid, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Jordie Bellaire
Princess Leia is the last of the new Star Wars comic series to be released and may end up being the least successful. A Leia Organa led series is an important undergoing leading up to the new movie however the character seems slightly mishandled to this point. That said, this is only issue number two of five so there are still three issues for this story to flesh out and perhaps become a good representation of Princess Leia.
The art in Princess Leia is sure to be a love it or hate it issue for most readers of this series. The other two Star Wars series use a much more realistic and film dependent design of the characters while Terry and Rachel Dodson employ a more stylized version of the Star Wars characters. Leia is recognizable but she is not a drawing of Carrie Fischer. It was an interesting choice to make and it is successful in giving this series a different feel from the other series and the movies. There are some problems throughout this issue where faces that are not close in a frame often have overly simplified features or distorted angles. These frames feel a little rushed as you read through the issue.
Jordie Bellaire’s coloring is wonderful throughout this issue. The artistic qualities that really unify this with the Star Wars universe as we know it are the consistent costume design and the familiar coloring scheme. The color shading on the characters’ faces is really well done and there are a few striking scenes where the mix of color perfectly completes a scene. The coat on Queen Amidala is a fantastic mix of red, orange and yellow to make a stunning design in a scene that is supposed to evoke emotions from the reader. Also the coloring of the scenes in the night club district is a great mix of blue, pink, and green which makes those scenes seem appropriately dark and consistent.
Mark Waid’s story leaves much to be desired from the title character. Leia seems like she is always ordering others for their approval and making mistakes that others see coming. Leia’s new companion Evaan seems like the more complete character at this point and that may be her purpose in this miniseries, to make Leia grow by the final issue. For a Leia led series, Leia Organa seems like this least prescient or likable character outside of the designated villains, who Leia seems to end up trusting to a fault. The plot premise in this series fits well into the post A New Hope universe and may be better than the ongoing Star Wars series’. The Alderaan destruction is a great event to analyze the character of Leia and it was smart to separate her from the other characters. There is still time for Leia to grow as a character in this miniseries and that would make it a success.
There is not only strong competition from other comic publishers and Marvel series but also now from other Star Wars series. Princess Leia #2 has some problems that keep it from being a great comic, and hopefully it can progress into a series worthy of the title character.