Marvel recently started a new edition of Star Wars comics. Most likely, this was at least in part kicked off by the excitement (and some trepidation) about the new movies coming. I’ve been enjoying the main Star Wars title, so I thought I’d check this one out. After all, Luke and Han tend to get a lot more attention than Leia, and I wanted to see what they’d do.
Well, what they did was make some odd choices. I get the feeling that Waid, who is writing this one, isn’t necessarily talking to Aaron, who’s writing the Star Wars title. The two books don’t feel like they fit together to me. It’s more like two different stories that are happening at the same time, with some of the same characters.
Immediately after the Battle of Yavin (the end of the Star Wars movie), Leia is feeling frustrated. She’s being used as a figurehead, and doesn’t like it. After she tries to get a real assignment from Dodonna and Ackbar, and fails, she gives herself one. The Empire just destroyed Alderaan. The survivors need a new home. Leia is off to find one, and bring hope to her surviving people. She’s accompanied by Evaan, a new character. Evaan is a fellow Alderaanian, Rebel, and skilled pilot. No doubt much of the next few issues will be Leia and Evaan scouting new worlds and evading both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, who they are both AWOL from.
Plot: While it’s nice to see a focus on Leia, I’m not wild about how they did it, and have some doubts about this story. I’m giving it a low 3 out of 5, despite my usual enjoyment of Waid’s writing.
Art: The art really didn’t impress me, in part because it shifted several times. The art on the first few pages, which recreate the big medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars, is very different from the rest of the book. I’ll give the art, too, a low 3 out of 5.
Positives: Leia is a strong character and there’s a lot they haven’t revealed about her. With the recent erasure of the Expanded Universe, we may be back to knowing almost nothing about her. She’s certainly strong here, as is her new sidekick, Evaan. I presume all these new comics are set in this time frame to keep things clear for the upcoming movies.
Negatives: Leia actually comes across kind of snarky a few times, especially early in the book when Luke’s trying to offer her sympathy. The art has some weird moments, as I mention above. They seem to be trying to make Leia a stronger character by downplaying the others. Han is barely around and Luke gets some pretty bad treatment.
Princess Leia 1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Terry and Rachel Dodson