I have a very pitiful confession to make; this is my first Princeless comic. I know it is crazy, but I keep meaning to give them a try, but wanted to start from the beginning and you know how it is. Sometimes reading all the titles you want to read is daunting or overwhelming! So instead, I just dove right into this story with no background knowledge and, of course, I am in love with this series. If you haven’t picked up Princeless for your kids and even yourself, then you need to now. Don’t worry about starting from the beginning. It seems that every number one issue doesn’t have too much backstory and doesn’t shy away from jumping into the action. This is exactly what Jeremy Whitley does with Raven the Pirate Princess (you just can’t go wrong with a title like that). He jumps right into a battle. We meet up with the younger version of Raven Xingtao, also known as Black Arrow. From a very young age, she has a way with the bow and arrow. Right after an attack from her and her father’s shipmates, we skip to the teenage version of Raven. Thinking that this is where Whitley will slow the story down and have Raven narrate her life, you would be dead wrong. Although we still get some background on Raven, the action jumps from one thing to the next. Raven is desperately trying to find a crew for her mission, which you will just have to read to find out about, but doesn’t seem to have the means to provide for a crew. Plus, she is a girl. Who is going to follow a teenage girl on some voyage.
Then comes the biggest piece of action; Jay. She disguised herself as a poor foreign woman and Raven offering this woman some money gets scammed. Now it is an all-out battle just for a few coins, but I am thinking that the chase is more fun than the reward. At Least it was for me. Again, Whitley has this really special way of giving us tons of action while still holding a conversation between two characters. Raven and Jay’s goes between hate, anger, admiration, teamwork, and “your mama’s” jokes. It brings a great flow into the comic and adds to the characterization of everyone involved.
On top of all that is Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt. Not one panel is wasted with foolish stares or blank faces. They all have action; they all have clear emotion. It really makes you slow down when reading the comic as well. You are trying to absorbed every conversation, every joke, every small plot detail, all the while trying watching some killer kicks and parkouring through the streets of the market. I think that was my favorite part. I loved seeing all these strong women with great acrobatics through the streets. I know we will have to move it to a pirate ship soon, but that makes me even more excited to see what Higgins/Brandt will bring with this intense action next. Your eyes are flooded with movements but you totally just let them drown because it is so much fun!
It is easy to fall in love with Princeless from the first open page. It seems that all of Princeless’s side characters eventually make a name for themselves, so you should really just pick up with Raven’s story a well.
Princeless - Raven the Pirate Princess #1 Writer: Jeremy Whitley Artist: Rosy Higgins, Ted Brandt Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/8/15 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital