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Princeless continues to be charming it’s way into my heart with a few more hiccups than the last issue – but it still has a clever ingenuity about it, good humor and heart. As well as a sword-wielding and pissed-off princess atop her mighty mentally-defunct fire-breathing dragon. But in the over-arching story, this issue is not relevant and wastes time this mini-series needs.
Princess Adriennee is no longer in her castle after she busts out with the help of her dragon, Spark. Now, she returns to her castle after the news has spread of her fake death to her grief-stricken brother and angry father. Confused as the murderer, but unwilling to tell her father who she is, Adrienne must fight her way out of her own castle – or die trying!
It’s really frustrating when you’re trying to enjoy a good story and the speech bubbles are put in the most impractical of places. Often, when dialogue is exchanged between two characters – especially during Adrienne’s dialogue with her brother – it’s hard to follow who is saying what. It may only take a moment to figure out in some instances, but a moment is enough to frustrate me and take away the lines impact as I seethe.
But the dialogue itself is great with a lot of humor. And whenever there’s humor in Princeless, it’s rare that it doesn’t strike a funny bone, even if it is only a slight chuckle. The jokes are also for all ages, though sometimes the focus seems to be on younger kids – especially when there is an underwear joke halfway through that I could picture people younger than me laughing at but that left me feeling too old to jump on the bandwagon. But no age group is really left out – after all, there are a lot of humorous moments to choose from, from the “Princess was in another castle” to false hostage situations. The only joke that was an all-ages miss was a joke about a preposition in a sentence; and the fact that Adrienne kept hitting her brother to get him to calm down quickly started to felt like an overused gimmick.
The only thing really missing in this issue is the cute dialogue between Adrienne and Spark the dragon. Spark had no dialogue time. Her grunts and gurrs were missed. In her stead is Adrienne’s twin brother. He provides more tradition comic relief rather than “cute,” but he’ll do. His back-story also provides some insight into the first issue, and I liked the dynamic of having him be Adrienne’s twin brother, since it made the two seem closer than any of the other siblings would have been to each other. While I can get over lamenting Spark’s displacement in this issue, the pacing in this issue is a major problem. Normally, the pacing in an issue like this would be alright if it was an ongoing series, but Princeless is now: it is only a four issue mini-series. The events in this issue took way too long to get to, and Adrienne still has a long mission ahead of her to find the rest of her sisters and rescue them – a long and lengthy task that doesn’t even sound like it could fit into four issues on it’s own. While this issue was enjoyable, only parts felt necessary due to Princeless’ issue constraint.
The artwork from M. Goodwin still fits the fantasy tone of the comic, but there are some problems. The emotions are drawn clearly on their faces, but their faces are starting to become a mixed blend of anime and cartoons which is not a great blend to look at. The colors are also your basic array, but do become a great advantage to the series towards the end of Princeless when Adrienne is leaving a tower the hard way with the colors slowly becoming darker and darker as the tension of the situation increases until total darkness. Then there’s a jumpy transition – but it still manages to end on a high note with some great closing narration from our heroine.
Princeless #2 still has the charm, humor and heart, but little things like speech bubbles, unfunny jokers, and artwork quirks hurt the issues overall appeal. But the culminating problem of pacing is the major issue that could spell danger for Princeless – but right now it’s still a lot of fun, especially for younger audiences.