- Posted by Johanna on November 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
story by Jeremy Whitley
art by M. Goodwin
Action Lab Entertainment, $3.99 US
Out tomorrow is the second issue of Princeless, a fresh take on fairy tale ideas. Unfortunately, this issue makes us wait to see what Princess Adrienne is up to in her self-rescue. Instead, we meet Devin, her twin brother, who is busy being berated by their overbearing father. Dad’s child-rearing methods leave a lot to be desired; he’s either locking his daughters away in towers to be rescued because “a woman’s place is to be ruled” or trying to make his son tougher by telling him he’s worthless. (Makes me wonder what King Dad’s childhood was liked; is this like fraternity hazing, where he perpetuates it because he had to live through it?)
I know this issue is trying to set things up for the second half of the story, where Adrienne and Devin seek their younger sister Appalonia, and the siblings learn to value their skills regardless of their gender, but I missed seeing Adrienne have a more proactive role. This is really Devin’s issue, and I wanted more of the girl hero, although we do learn more about how she ended up in the tower in issue #1.
The art is great, with plenty of action and emotion, particularly well-suited to the flashback sections. There are a couple of panels where too many balloons make it difficult to know which way to follow the conversation, and as I said, it would be nice to see Adrienne making more choices instead of simply reacting, but this is only one chapter in the tale. I’m still looking forward to issue #3 (even if the series isn’t going to be the solo girl fantasy story I hoped for, instead becoming more of a family affair). It’s a good lesson in patience, and not getting too caught up in your expectations, because a comic might surprise you in the different direction it takes.
I posted a short preview of issue #1 in case you’d like to see more.
Angel & Faith #4
script by Christos Gage
art by Rebekah Isaacs
Dark Horse Comics, $2.99 US
The first storyline, “Live Through This”, comes to a close with this issue.
I’m not a fan of crazy vampire villain siblings Pearl and Nash, and I think featuring them on the cover with Angel and Faith nowhere in sight is a poor choice. They remind me too much of Spike and Drusilla, and they apparently have history with Angel I’m unfamiliar with (since I started again with Dark Horse’s Buffy universe with this series). However, you need some kind of big action to conclude this part of the story, and for beating up, they serve well enough. Their albino-ish looks are definitely distinctive visually.
There’s even more creepy coming, and that’s one of the things I like best about this series — it’s able to keep surprising me in both the character depth it reveals and the imaginative concepts it spins. Part of that is due to the setting, after “the end of magic”. That makes for a fresh take on things and brings new readers and long-time devoted fans closer together, since neither knows exactly how things work in this new fictional world.
There’s even a meaningful message, in keeping with the symbolism that drew me to the Buffy universe in the first place: be careful what you wish for, because too much of a good thing can be hell. And I’m really enjoying the relationship building between the two title characters. Faith’s a little older, but still that entertaining living-on-the-edge girl — only she’s got better reasons now for what she does. Angel is tortured and driven, but in the service of something I wish for, too: Giles’ return. Even though it shouldn’t happen. I’m curious to see when and how Angel realizes that, too.
Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1
written by Chris Roberson
pencils by Jeffrey Moy
inks by Philip Moy
IDW Publishing, $3.99 US
I admit, I had nostalgic flashbacks when I saw the Keith Giffen alternate cover (shown here). That grungy look for the adult heroes reminded me of when I first started reading the Legion, and all the changes they (and I) have been through since.
Unfortunately, this is much more a Star Trek story than a Legion one, and a slow-paced one at that. While I simply adore seeing the Moy Brothers’ work again — and they do a terrific job on all the likenesses — not enough happens for me to want to keep up between months with the dribs and drabs of what’s going on. Especially when I know that there will be a friendly collected edition soon enough, where I can read the whole thing at once.
I do wish we’d seen more Legionnaires, too, since that’s the thing that makes the concept so special. Here, they picked the three founders — Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, the obvious choices — and three that looked like aliens — Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass (in her sexy halter top bathing suit outfit), and Chameleon Boy. And yes, that is how they’re identified, even though they’re drawn as adults.
The two teams have certain elements in common, such as their unwillingness to affect the course of events, for one. And I would love to see Brainy and Spock face off, as suggested by the indicia page. But this issue takes too many pages to simply get the two teams to an alternate Earth where they get attacked. By the end of this installment, they haven’t even met yet! How is that a crossover? (It gets worse — a flip-through of issue #2 shows that by the end of that issue, they STILL haven’t met each other, although they’re about to.)
(The publishers provided review copies of these comics.)