The new series “Princeless” from talented newcomers Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin and independent publisher Action Lab is a much needed breath of fresh air on the comics scene.
“Princeless” is the story of a young princess named Adrienne being kept by her parents in a tower guarded by a dragon, so that a worthy prince might rescue her (and then marry her, I suppose). Adrienne is unimpressed both with this plan and with the gents who have tried (and failed) to rescue her. After a last failed attempt, Adrienne escapes on her own, commandeers her dragon guardian, puts on some left-behind armor, and heads off to rescue her five similarly trapped sisters.
The story from Jeremy Whitley is fresh and smart, with some nice lessons that never feel ham-handed or saccharine. The way Whitley writes Adrienne with her sassy attitude and empowered forward thinking ideas is a fun and engaging take on tired princess tropes. Whitley handles Adrienne’s story in a way that is both smart and charming, but Whitley doesn’t stop there. Instead, she adds an extra dimension by delving into the story of the princes Adrienne is so unimpressed by. The result creates something much more than just your average female empowerment comic, and hints to some fun surprises ahead.
Goodwin’s art is stunning. It’s full of energy and perfectly executed wildly expressive characters throughout. The storytelling is strong and clear, and the colors pop with an enthusiasm that is flat-out contagious. Goodwin’s work, especially with character expression, is spot on, and really takes this book to the next level. Goodwin also exhibits some wonderful range, beginning the book with a short excerpt from a stereotypical fairytale with a much more stylized look before plunging headlong into our heroine’s story. The strength of the art in these pages and how well they fit with Whitley’s story shows Goodwin as a massive talent, with a very long future in comics.
Overall, this is an exceptional book and the best kind of all-ages comic: one fun for kids, but still with plenty of depth and humor for adults. “Princeless” is a must-read comic, regardless of your age.