- Words: Jeremy Whitley
- Art: M. Goodwin
- Colors: M. Goodwin
- Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
- Price: $3.99
- Release Date: Nov 30, 2011
Posted by Jason Wilkins on Dec 20, 2011
Avoiding the sophomore jinx with a solid second issue, Princeless rejuvenates the traditional quest myth with humor and craft.
Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin’s light-hearted all-ages romp picks up where it left off, with a strong second chapter in Princess Adrienne’s quest to rescue her imprisoned sisters. Published by Action Lab Entertainment in association with Whitley’s own Firetower Studios, Princeless #2 bounds out of the gates with the continuing misadventures of Adrienne and her onetime dragon overseer Sparks.
This issue begins with the introduction of Adrienne’s twin brother and reluctant heir to the throne of Ashland, Prince Devin. True to the title and premise of the series, Devin isn’t what you would call prime prince material. In fact, he’s the first one to admit his royal inadequacies, allowing that any one of his sisters would make a better heir to his belligerent father’s throne. Be that as it may, the King of Ashland is adamant that only a male heir would possess the necessary qualities to rule a kingdom. Much like his headlining twin sister, Devin has hidden depths of cunning and intelligence though.
Whitley deftly uses the introduction of Adrienne’s brother to further the plot of Princeless, revealing Devin as one of the main players working behind the scenes to thrust his sister into the spotlight as the rescuer of their other siblings. His dialogue and pacing remain tight yet bouncy, such that the audience doesn’t notice Adrienne’s absence until she appears approximately halfway through the issue. It’s a testament to Whitley’s growing comfort with his cast and the realm of Ashland that he makes such a gamble in only the second stanza of his fantasy-comedy saga.
Goodwin’s art continues to be a perfect match for Whitley’s elegantly simple script, her use of exaggeration and motion helping to infuse the comedic moments with just the right tone and expression. The overall effect is a well-crafted visual realization of Whitley’s script that is at once commercially accessible by children and adults alike. There are a lot of books out there that profess to be “all-ages” but Princeless actually lives up to its billing, refusing to condescend to its younger readers, while also welcoming those more mature members of its audience.
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