Indie Comics Spotlight: Princeless Vol. 2, Unseen Shadows, The Limits
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
Princeless Volume 2 #1
Believe it or not, women can do any thing that men can do. I know…it’s crazy. Now that the sarcasm has seeped away, it’s time you perked your ears up for some news of a powerful woman with a tendency to be full of fire. That’s right: Princeless Volume 2 #1 is nearing release from Action Lab Comics. The first issue in the second volume is written by Jeremy Whitley and illustrated by Emily Martin.
The issue starts rather ominously, with the King seeking a warrior capable enough of killing both the knight who abducted Adrienne and Sparky the dragon who “abandoned” his post in the process. The challenge invites a wide array of knights and warriors, all of whom are known for different skills and abilities. The rogues frighten both the prince and queen. Meanwhile, Adrienne and Bedelia continue their quest to find Adrienne’s sister Angelica. Angelica is the first of her sisters she wants to free and empower to be an independent woman. The duo come across a poet named Roderick Loverlorn who is seeking the love of his life and of course their paths will cross in the voyage. And Sparky still has a thing with people getting too close to Adrienne, proving that there’s still a need to protect her.
Whitley’s lost none of the charm that the first series included. Adrienne sort of took a backseat as far as a character goes, with Bedelia, the King and Roderick all seeming to be at the forefront of the issue more so than the main character. That’s not a bad thing really, as it fleshes out the universe more and more. Bedelia could support her own comic down the road and Roderick looks to be at least an interesting character. Further, the warriors will likely show some interesting mixing and matching as well.
Martin’s art continues to fit the writing exceptionally well. It’s vibrant and well done, showing an adventurous spirit that matches that of the writing. It’s consistent as far as style with the first volume, ensuring continuity between volumes and look. It even looks almost as if Martin has improved this time around, making everything just look that much better.
Princeless Volume 2 #1 picks up right where the first volume left off. Adrienne is back and as feisty as ever, matched only by Bedelia and Sparky, her dragon. The adventures feel comfortable and readers of the first volume will be able to pick right up where they left off. The first issue deserves to be checked out, as it continues one of the best all-ages comics out right now.
Get your local comic shop informing on with Diamond order code STK522143.
Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Forgotten
Fallen Heroes is a set of novels by Barry Nugent getting the comic book treatment. It’s got a wide variety of characters; characters who could always benefit from some quality backstory. Unseen Shadows saw this need and ran with it, publishing Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Forgotten, a series of tales that look at some of the characters from the property. Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Forgotten features four stories. “Historia” is written by Richmond Clements, illustrated by Alex Moore and lettered by Paul McLaren. “Stolen” is written by Corey Brotherson, illustrated by Cormac Hughes, colored by Vicky Stonebridge and lettered by McLaren. “Fight or Flight” is written by Brotherson, illustrated by Jorge Oliveira and lettered by McLaren. Finally, “The Immaculate Abortion of Dina Leigh” is written by Cy Dethan, with illustrations by Valia Kapadai and lettered by Nic Wilkinson.
Dr. Kathryn Munroe is introduced in the first story, which is a crime noir story set in a well-to-do university. It’s something of a whodunnit among the students that features medieval torture devices, SWAT teams and a bunch of students as suspects. The second story follows Ben Ashodi (The Hand), a man with a penchant for fighting crime and looking good doing it. He’s dealing with a group of hooligans named the Mohocks, trying to make a difference with a member who needs help. The third story is a brief little sparring tale, showcasing the ability of Victoria Sullivan to fight demons. Finally, “The Immaculate Abortion of Dina Leigh” is probably the most gruesome of all those included. Bob Kelsey is in way over his head when it comes to a strange woman with a strange scar.
The stories are all pretty interesting on their own. “Historia” has the detective feel, while “Stolen” has more of the superhero feel. “Fight or Flight” is really something of a brief interlude of sorts (but still packs a punch), while “The Immaculate Abortion of Dina Leigh” is very existential in a way. All stories are packed with dialogue and will obviously be well-received by fans of the graphic novels. Fans new to the property will also find the characters intriguing, as they all have their quirks. The stories tend to move towards investigating something or another, presenting a unifying theme that ties the entire book together. Make no mistake though–these are four different stories written by three different writers.
The art is equally as varied as the writing. Both “Historia” and “The Immaculate Abortion of Dina Leigh” have the most unique artistic styles, relying on unique lines and shading effects to have a stronger impact. “Stolen” and “Fight or Flight” look somewhat similar in the technique used for illustrations, as both feature more fully-rendered characters.
Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Forgotten is an interesting series of one-shots. There’s not really one thread that runs through all the stories, but there’s enough to grab onto that makes the book flow fairly well. It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of Fallen Heroes. If you’ve never heard of the property before, it’s still got enough that it merits a read.
You can get more information about Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Forgotten at the book’s website. The book should be available now.
The Limits #1
If it’s not zombies, it’s vampires. If it’s not vampires, it’s witches. If it’s not witches, it’s werewolves. The list goes on and on of things that go bump in the night and have a way of crossing paths with humanity. In The Limits #1 from Broken Icon Comics, it’s mainstreamed werewolves walking among us. The first issue is written by James Maddox, with art by Kristoffer Smith.
Anya is something of a spark plug. She’s been tested by her pack elder and passed with flying colors, besting the previous pack leader and taking control of the pack in San Diego. Heavy is the head that wears the crown though, as there are some within the pack intent on seeing Anya fail spectacularly. You know, because she’s a woman and all.
Maddox’s story isn’t new or anything, but it’s somewhat of a reset on the entire concept of supernatural entities adopting human patterns. True Blood probably takes that approach best, with the vampires requiring equality rights afforded humanity. Maddox has grounded the werewolves in a more urban culture. While True Blood takes place in the more rural areas of Louisiana, Maddox has dropped the werewolves smackdab in the middle of San Diego.
The art is very appropriate for a werewolf book. It’s all grayscale in a sense, while still having a sheen to it. The werewolves are illustrated as both werewolf and human; transitioning between the two forms looks natural enough. The action scenes are sufficiently brutal, evidencing the expected feral nature of a werewolf battle.
The Limits #1 is an interesting first issue. Mainstreaming werewolves is something that’s yet to be played out and inserting the possibility for deeper meaning in the saga is nice. It’s something worth taking a look at if you’re a fan of werewolves.
The Limits #1 is available now.