The Pirate Princess #2: Men Need Not Apply

8.5

If there’s one line entertainers in any medium, from film, to television, and of course comic books all follow, it’s that you always want to leave your audience wanting more. In the opening of our seafaring epic, that is what we saw as our heroine ended up unconscious at the hands of a bottle. (And not even in the fun way.) While you can rest assured that we were given just enough at the end of the second issue to keep us hungry for a third, here and now we get to talk about the fun had by both the characters and this reader in the second issue of Raven: The Pirate Princess!

So of course we pick up a bit after The Black Arrow takes a bottle to the head. After a little wake-up, we learn a bit about her newfound frenemy, Sunshine Alexander. It’s a literal name, but sounds better in Elvin. So, minor good news right off the bat. Elves are a thing in this world, so if that’s what you’re into, the folks over at Action Lab have you covered. Along with learning about Sunshine, we also learn about Cookie’s current living situation, and all of a sudden his line from the first book makes sense. “Teenage girls will be the death of me.”

At this point we see something I think will be a common trend in these books, and it’s something I’m beginning to think Jeremy Whitley has a knack for when it comes to writing in particular. Simplicity. Here we see something people across all walks can relate to. Dealing with children you don’t understand. The scene plays out is one you could expect to see in any number of visual vehicles. What’s nice about the work here is that it just fits. It flows naturally as if you were involved in the tense situation yourself. From Jayla’s biting wit, to her eventual storm out. Moments like that are what readers will be thinking about when they finish this book, and judging by what’s written and drawn it’s something the team behind this book likely realized and wanted to take full advantage of.

Jayla

Following classic teenage behavior, we start to learn a little bit more about the role of the Pirate King/Queen and what it means to hold that title. This issue did a great deal of world-building, offering up familiar tropes but often skewing them in what could be considered an “appropriate” manner given the social climate of today. Going along with the familiar, we quickly switch gears to a scene very reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean. (The one most people don’t care for, but still, Pirates.)

Warning: Male Ribbing Ahead!

The scene that reminded us of the Disney franchise quickly shifts gears though, to scenes that you may recognize from a number of dating app/site commercials, such as E-Harmony as The Black Arrow meets a host of would-be crew members. It’s here that the thin-skinned may want to consider swallowing their pride as the crew members presented are an incredulous rundown of a number of male stereotypes. There’s the playboy, the rich kid who wants to see how the other half live, the guy rebelling against his mom, and many more.

Out of this cavalcade of stereotypes though, we were treated to two things that readers will most likely enjoy, including the introduction of a woman whom I think will become my favorite character in this series. Along with that we were treated to the funny sight of Raven seemingly making googly eyes as Sunshine got jiggy with it on stage. Here, we also meet for the first time, Katherine King, who manages to make an impression followed by a suggestion to her new Captain: an all female crew.

Crew

Needless to say, this does not go over well with the men, and after a verbal tit-for-tat involving a “Your mother” comment, like many a fight started in a bar, it all started with a chair being thrown. Followed by someone being hit with a chair. Needless to say, things escalated quickly. So quickly in fact it took a witch to calm things down! Well, at least that’s what Jayla calls herself to scare the men away. (And freak out her father.)

We come to a close with Katherine offering up the service of her guild of LARPers as crew members, (oh that will be fun) and an interesting reveal. Someone  important to Raven is alive, apparently to the shock of herself. Who is the mysterious Ximena? Can Katherine’s guild be the crew Raven needs? Find out on the next exciting episode of…I mean, the next exciting issue of Raven: The Pirate Princess!

Again, in the art department Higgins hits her mark, and does a prime job on the character designs—particularly on Katherine, who has an excellent, regal design and coupled with her speech will no doubt make her a breakout character in the series I’m sure. Likewise, Brandt’s work does not go unnoticed as location, location, and location hit their mark time and time again throughout the book. This book no doubt aims itself at the ever-growing female demographic, but don’t be fooled. Like any good party, there’s something for everyone to love, and no doubt has enough action, plot, and character development to reach readers regardless of demographic.

With that said, remember that Raven: The Pirate Princess is available through ComiXology, and wherever Action Lab titles are sold!