Published on March 31st, 2015 | by Steven Roman
Review: Princess Leia #1–2 (of 5)
For years, a Galactic Empire has been battling rebel forces, and recently the rebels have scored their most significant victory: destroying the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station whose weaponry had been used to blow up the planet Alderaan. To say the Empire is not taking this loss well would be an understatement.
Meanwhile, on the fourth moon of Yavin, the rebel forces, led by Princess Leia Organa, former senator of Alderaan, make plans to abandon their base before the Empire has a chance to return and exact its revenge…
That’s the setup for the first issue of Marvel Comics’ Princess Leia, a five-part miniseries by writer Mark Waid (Captain America, Daredevil) and artists Terry and Rachel Dodson (Wonder Woman, Red One) that reflects parent company Disney’s new Star Wars canon (all that Expanded Universe stuff that’s been published since 1983? Never happened), and spins off from Marvel’s recently launched Star Wars comic series.
Set immediately after Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, this miniseries involves Leia taking on a personal mission (against the wishes of everyone else, of course): rescuing fellow Alderaanians who were off-planet when the Death Star blew up their home. It’s a race against time, because the Imperial forces are looking to hand out some major payback for the Death Star’s destruction, and the survivors of Alderaan are at the top of the punishment list. Joining Leia on this quest is Evaan, a female rebel pilot and Alderaanian who insists upon treating Leia as the royal subject she is, rather than a fellow Star Warrior. Their first stop is the planet Naboo, which fans will remember from SW, Episodes I–III and the Clone Wars animated shows; it’s the home of Leia’s late mother, Queen Amidala…although Leia doesn’t know that, at this point in her life. What she does know, however, is that the Empire has placed a large bounty on her head, and there will be no shortage of folks looking to cash in on it…
Storywise, Waid delivers a good adventure story with Leia as a strong lead who’s not about to sit around while her people are in danger, and who doesn’t need Luke Skywalker or Han Solo to protect her. Forget Slave Leia—Action Leia is what it’s all about! Surprisingly, Waid has completely nailed down Leia’s stiff, nobody-really-talks-like-this speech pattern established by George Lucas in the original Star Wars; I don’t think a past Marvel Star Wars writer—including the legendary Archie Goodwin—ever came this close. All that’s missing are the awkward attempts at a British accent that Carrie Fisher put on whenever she was on screen with Peter “Grand Moff Tarkin” Cushing.
As for the art, it’s another solid performance by the Dodsons, whose outing this time may surprise comic fans who’ve come to primarily think of the husband-and-wife team as artists who only draw busty, scantily clad bad girls. Leia and Evaan are certainly pretty, but they’re presented as space-opera action heroines, not pinup queens. And their spaceship designs are pretty neat, too.
Bottom line? If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re probably going to pick this up anyway, but the fun, solid story and art make this one worth checking out for non-Jedi, too.
Princess Leia #1–2
Written by Mark Waid
Art and cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
32 pages each • full-color
$3.99 U.S. each
Issue 2 now on sale