Review - Princeless #3

If you've ever wondered what happens when a talented and spunky blacksmith's daughter meets and equally spunky princess in denial then wonder no further. Princeless #3 responds to both of those wonders and carries the story of Adrienne one issue closer to completion.

Jeremy Whitley's tale continues, with art and colors by M. Goodwin and lettering by Dave Dwonch.

In Princeless #3, the reader is introduced to Bedelia Smith, the blacksmith's daughter in an otherwise sleepy hamlet that Adrienne happens upon. She's desperately searching for a new suit of armor, one that's slightly better fitting than the disjoined collection she's currently wearing.

Bedelia's talents are just about equally matched with her talkativeness, prompting her to learn the truth about Adrienne. This is ok though, as it gives Bedelia reason to show off her special line of armor called "Women Warriors," all of which are nods to classic costumes in comics. The closing panel features a triumphant Adrienne in what can only be described as equally triumphant armor.

Whitley has more or less used Princeless as sort of a soapbox for women's equality, but Princeless #3 takes that idea to a whole new level. The bulk of the issue features intelligent discussion between Adrienne and Bedelia regarding the efficacy of certain armor types. Adrienne doesn't see how wearing skimpy costumes are really that protective, which leads Bedelia to create a new line called "Warrior Women."

It's a nice juxtaposition of words that flips the emphasis from "women" to "warrior" and is really empowering. Whitley's tact with Adrienne reminded me a lot of Michael Mayne and Tyler Fluharty's stance with Bonnie Lass. Both are equally strong and driven women looking to upset the status quo in a male dominated world. What's more is that Bedelia is actually the one running the blacksmith show in town, with her father always at the pub.

Goodwin's art continues to be consistent and affords the issue the chance to tackle a relatively serious topic without taking itself too seriously. There's a full-page panel of an almost maniacal looking Bedelia which really adds credence to her notion that women can be warriors first and women second.

Princeless #3 continues to please. My only concern is that with one issue left I'm not sure everything will be wrapped up neatly. In any case, you should definitely check this issue out (as well as Princeless #1 and Princeless #2 if you haven't already. All three should be available, with the fourth issue due in January 2012.