The original Princess/Leader/Badass gets her own mini series. Princess Leia #1 jumps into our favorite Alderaanian hero’s story directly following the battle of Yavin. I for one have been excited for this series since it’s announcement. Leia Organa is a fine example of what every strong female role model we get these days is measured against. So how does her comic book incarnation measure up? Pretty damn good. This is the young, feisty, take charge Leia we were introduced to in A New Hope. Her brash attitude and take no prisoners mentality comes across loud and clear in this issue. So much so it appears the has quite the in universe reputation! Remember the “Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?” girl on the Death Star? Yeah…. She’s back.
The story picks up at the Yavin Medal Ceremony as everyone starts to go their own way. A quick moment for Alderaan and her (adoptive) parents and the evacuation begins. Makes sense. With the Death Star destroyed the Imperial fleet still poses a major threat to the now located rebel base. We get some interesting moments between Leia and every other character she encounters. It seems that at this time she is NOT the rebel leader she will become. The older military seniors treat her like the child of a rebel leader. As if she’s only present because of her parents. I really liked seeing her put into this position. In the Legends stories she’s always portrayed as the leader she becomes in The Empire Strikes Back and beyond. I think showing her mature is a great sign of the way the story group is building the universe with character arcs in mind. With 3 years of time between Yavin and Hoth I think we’ll be seeing some great character change taking our familiar characters to where they end up in Episode V. This comic is doing the work for Leia that Heir to the Jedi is doing for Luke.
With the military brass forbidding Leia to make any meaningful contribution to the Alliance she defies them and decides that as a Princess of Alderaan she must preserve her culture by finding and protecting the survivors of her lost world. An ambitious and rebellious plan ensues including another Alderaanian pilot by the name of Evaan helping Leia more or less escape the Alliance to make a difference instead of doing nothing but being protected as the Alliance leaders would have her do.
This being the first in the 5 issue mini series makes me hope sales rock enough to warrant either another one or an ongoing Leia series. The Dodsons’ art is very stylistic and so different from the other two current Star Wars titles. It’s bold but I think it’s a great choice to have all the titles with their own art styles. Not only does it make a distinct visual separation but it lets each of the artists really feel free to speak their own language. I love the art in this issue. The colors are very bold and the artist captures some very wonderful expressions from not only Leia but the other characters as well.
The story so far is a very straightforward story but by no means is it disappointing. I really like the focus on Leia’s character and choices and as a Legends fan it’s actually quite nice to see a return to a lot of the characteristics she exhibited in Episode IV. I really loved Brian Wood’s last Star Wars series from Dark Horse that focused on Leia and the loss of Alderaan. While that series was wonderful I think the character choices made in this issue feel truer and more connected to the Episode IV Leia than Wood’s series. The issue is fun and provides some interesting looks into the interaction between the Alliance leadership and the more rank and file members. I can’t wait for the next issue but luckily there’s plenty of Star Wars comics being released on almost a weekly basis!