"Don't let the dragon hit you on the way out"Princeless
is an Eisner award-nominated comic book series written by Jeremy Whitley and drawn by M. Goodwin. Set in a relatively standard fairy tale setting, the series stars Adrienne, a young princess who decides that she'd like to be a rescuer rather than a typical Damsel in Distress
. Escaping from the tower where she is being held prisoner with the aide of the dragon that was guarding her, Adrienne sets out to rescue her sisters from the prisons they are being held in.
The series takes delight in taking many fantasy tropes and turning them on their heads, while also telling a tale about love and family. The series is currently available in trade paperback, and the first issue is available for free in digital form.
This comic provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Adrienne, who busts out of her castle prison by befriending the dragon who's supposed to be guarding her, mind and her sidekick, Bedelia.
- The Alcoholic: Bedelia's dad, confirmed at the end of "The Smiths" to the point that her mother was planning on leaving with Bedelia to get away from him.
- Archnemesis Dad: Adrienne's dad will likely evolve into this, though he doesn't yet know that she broke herself out, and Adrienne at least considers him the Final Boss of her quest.
- Awesome yet Practical: Even though Adrienne criticizes the "Diana" armor Bedelia offers her, she still manages to fight off two guards using the sword-deflecting braces and the rope provided. Adrienne is surprised that it worked.
- Badass Princess: Adrienne to a core.
- Berserk Button: Adrienne's shaping up to be something of a Grammar Nazi. She especially hates it when people misuse the word "fair" to mean "beautiful" rather than "pale," which her family definitely is not.
- Black Vikings: The series is set in a European-style fantasy world, and yet features a black princess as a lead character, with her parents and siblings also playing roles in the plot.
- The Blacksmith: Bedelia.
- Chainmail Bikini: Several of the suits of "armor" Bedelia tries to sell Adrienne fit this trope.
- Cool Pet: Sparky, Adrienne's former dragon guard.
- Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Adrienne knew she'd be locked up when she turned 16, and her father had her food drugged so she could be taken off without resistance.
- Fake-Out Opening: The first issue begins with the story of a typical blonde, blue-eyed princess who finds happiness after being rescued by a man. This is quickly revealed to be nothing more than a story being read to Adrienne, which she is quick to criticize.
- Funny Afro: Adrienne's hair turns into this if she doesn't tame it regularly. Word of God says that this will be a recurring theme.
- Hates Being Touched: Angelica, but with good reason.
- Gender Flip: The story itself is a gender-flip of the usual prince/princess dynamic in fairy tales, although it's meant to be a traditional one with the King imprisoning his daughters so that only worthy suitors get to them.
- Goofy Print Underwear: Adrienne's polka dot underwear gets exposed after her first set of armor's belt gets slashed in a fight.
- Goth: Adrienne's sister Angoisse. For bonus points her name can literally be translated as angst.
- Inadequate Inheritor: How Adrienne's twin brother Devin is seen by their father.
- Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Adrienne's father and Devin have this sort of dynamic going on.
- Lady of War: Adrienne.
- Letter Motif: All of the girls in Adrienne's family have names starting with the letter A.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Adrienne is one of seven girls, in addition to their brother.
- Mistaken for Racist: In the first issue, a bumbling prince tries to compliment Adrienne by telling her she looks "fair". Adrienne is quick to point out the racial implications behind referring to her as "fair", rendering the prince quite embarrassed.
- The Muse: Angelica serves as one to a whole village of artisans camped outside her tower.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Outspoken Tomboy Princess Adrienne and her In Touch with His Feminine Side sensitive poet brother Devin.
- Adrienne's twin sisters Andrea and Antonia also try to be this, including dyeing their hair different colors.
- Princess Classic: Appalonia, Adrienne's youngest sister, is the clearest example, crossed with The Pollyanna.
- Rebellious Princess: Adrienne, naturally.
- Samus Is a Girl: Happens several times in the first few issues, first when Devin realizes who she is after she breaks into the castle and then again when Bedelia makes her remove her helmet.
- It's been pretty heavily implied that the Black Knight is in fact Adrienne's Mother, AKA, The Queen
- Stripperific: Mercilessly lampooned during the armor shop sequence in issue #3.
- Take That: A loving jab comes in issue three, where Adrienne is shown three wildly impractical suits of armor designed for female warriors. They strongly resemble the costumes of Wonder Woman, Xena, and Red Sonja respectively, and a major source of humor comes from Adrienne pointing out how little protection they'd actually offer in battle.
- Tomboy Princess: Adrienne, obviously.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Bedelia's father is a dwarf (the fantasy kind) and not the attractive kind. She's quite thankful that she takes after her mother instead.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Adrienne's sister Angelica is described as this. So much so that the first spiteful witch tried to curse her at age three, and she got her first marriage proposal from a besotted knight at age six.