Review - Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 (@actionlab)

"Yeah, let's try not to die in a fire on the open sea."

A pirate's life is fraught with swashbuckling (whatever that is), walking the plank and trying to not to burn your contribution to the potluck. Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 from Action Lab Entertainment at the very least has the last part covered with a potential to delve in the two former components as well. The issue is written by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Xenia Pamfil and lettered by Justin Birch.

High adventures on the high seas are back! With her crew restored from their run-in with her treacherous brothers, Raven is ready to reclaim what was stolen from her. But first… DANCE PARTY! Raven promised she would confess her love for Ximena, but Sunshine has other plans. Who will end the night dancing with whom?

For much of the issue, the highest stakes Whitley sets for the characters is whose food tastes the best and who has the best dance moves. Behind those seemingly innocuous accolades, Whitley manages to work in some pretty in-depth character involvements that are likely to propel the story forward. There's a burgeoning love triangle at the heart of the series and Whitley offers it to readers in a way that doesn't feel forced. The dialogue reinforces this as all the characters share the same sense of general ease with one another that their exchanges feel entirely natural. Whitley doesn't forget about the action that makes the Princeless series great, working in a pretty bombastic finale few pages that's sure to keep the crew on their toes.

Pamfil's artwork in the book is pretty slick and lighthearted. There's a clear tone of camaraderie and friendship amongst the crew and Pamfil's illustrations really reinforce that point with the reader. Each of the characters is distinct in their own way thanks the very clean approach by Pamfil in rendering the variety of women. The ship's setting is detailed enough where the reader gets the sense of the presence of the ship, with Pamfil emphasizing subtle details here and there. Considering the bulk of the book takes place below deck the work could have been dour and dark, but Pamfil uses colors that ensure everything stays bright and vivid.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 feels pretty good to read. Raven and her crew are looking for a break from their otherwise action-packed adventures for a little rest and relaxation, but even that comes with strings attached. Whitley infuses Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 with an flow that mimics the ups and downs of being on the open sea. Credit to Pamfil on illustrating a book that just feels happy, despite the underlying emotions and impending danger on the horizon. Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 is another strong entry in the Princeless series that offers a little bit of everything as a first issue.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess Year 2 #1 is available now.