Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess' #4 by Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt


★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess' #4 is the prelude to some high sea adventure but first Raven and her crew have to make it out of town in one piece. Cookie and Jayla are held up in the tavern with a mob at the door looking for the "witch" and it's up to Ximena to save the day. There's a good amount of action and ingenuity, but it's the emotional ties that are the glue of the story. 

Jeremy Whitley is in no hurry to get to the next set piece, the next big action scene or comedic situation. Instead, Whitley loves his characters, specifically Raven and Ximena, and their time together, their interactions are what's important. Four pages of dialogue between two characters are virtually unheard of in today's comics because there usually isn't a high importance placed on developing characters thoroughly. But that's how 'Raven' opens up. 

Ximena and Raven stare up at a starry sky and the scene develops like a stream of molasses and every bit as sweet. Ximena describes a pair of stars who draw close and separate intermittently over time. It's a lesson in astronomy on its surface but also a metaphor for their relationship. Raven seems distracted and what is left unsaid becomes as important as what was said. It's a bonding moment filled with sweet parallels and playful interaction. 

The rest of the issue is lighthearted with a clever ruse from Ximena to deceive the Kingsmen at Cookie's door and the rallying of Raven's crew. Cookie realizes Jayla has outgrown this town of pirates and is capable of so much more. Another instance where the value of a relationship is explored and brought to the fore. 

Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt do a remarkable job of creating a warm mood with darker hues without relying on shadows or heavy inking. The pacing of scenes is deliberate and in keeping with the slow burn of the exposition. Higgins is a master of evoking so much emotion from various facial expressions. 

Whitley has made 'Raven, the Pirate Princess' a special read where character, emotion, and relationships matter. The final pieces are in place after a funny and emotional journey to get to this point. Thanks to Higgins and Brandt the future of this seafaring adventure is looking good. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Comics of 2017

It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.


DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …

REVIEW: 'Port of Earth' #3 by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov

The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.


PORT OF EARTH #3 
Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 10, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …