Skip to main content

REVIEW: ' Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess' #5 by Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins, and Ted Brandt


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Raven and her crew finally set sail for the high seas. There's quite the learning curve for everyone involved as the many crew members must now adapt at being in close quarters with one another. It's a learning curve for Raven as well as the leader, the captain, and pirate-in-charge to manage all these different personalities on the ship. 'Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess' #5 is more about finding its sea legs than swashbuckling but that's what make this series unique and special. 

Jeremy Whitley takes his character development seriously. He wants you to know about each character and care about them probably in ways he does. This is character-driven storytelling first and foremost and with a combination of lengthy dialogues or brief scenes between shipmates, finding out who these women are is more important than action for the sake of action. 

Despite the lack of traditional seafaring action there's still plenty of conflict and drama aboard the ship. Jayla's antagonistic demeanor is especially disconcerting as she complains about Cid whom she doesn't know is deaf and can't hear her question but feels ignored by her. There's philosophical differences between the battle-ready Raven and the pacifist Ximena who won't raise arms against anyone. There's an unnamed pirate who's also a Muslim that has to explain to Ximena that she's not in fact being oppressed to wear a hijab by men on a ship full of women. It is her choice. 

There's many interactions like this but also light-hearted fun moments like a race to see who can climb the mast the fastest, Sunshine's seasickness, card games between shipmates, and the crew member who prefers to sunbathe and read. Whitley populates the ship with many different women with distinct personas to build this microcosm of a society on Raven's ship. She's still in charge but willing to compromise when her name-calling approach to getting her crew to work draws concern from Katie. There are more effective ways to motivate the crew Katie tells her and Raven agrees to make a rule against anyone name-calling. 

Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt continue to provide a wonderfully realized setting with great expressive diverse characters and colors from a limited palette. The purples, magentas, browns, yellows, make up the 'Raven the Pirate Princess' world. It's easy to be drawn into the story with such an inviting and warm color scheme. 

'Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess' is about the characters, how they interact, who they are, how they treat each other and what their place is in the book. Where some writers skimp on character development, Whitley soaks in it, drawing every bit of personality and nuance from his leads. If you're looking for a lot of action at the expense of character then this isn't the book for you. If you're looking for a great story to get lost in with a diverse group of smart characters then 'Raven the Pirate Princess' is the one for you. 

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 …