Anne Bonnie #2 Review
A fun all-ages comic with a spunky female lead that hits all the beats in a pirate story readers will expect.
The art is not quite as polished as the writing.
Ariana and her ship, Crimson Dawn, make port in order to spend some of her great wealth and perhaps free a slave boy while she’s at it – if she’s alive by issue’s end that is.
DID I MENTION I’M A PIRATE
The story of Anne Bonnie continues with Tim Yates grounding his story about a pirate. Anne Bonnie #2 opens with the Crimson Dawn escaping pursuit through the use of magic and mostly completely by accident. For her bumbling through career piratical Ariana is very self-aware, she knows that she runs away from her problems and she knows that she has survived time and time again by the skin of his teeth. It speaks to Yates strength as a writer in having what could be viewed as a flaw turn out to be to her utmost advantage.
Sapphire Bay is the Tortuga of this universe and what else is a pirate queen to do, but head to a den of vice? Anne Bonnie #2 is part of a larger series aimed at an all ages (not just children), audience and that definitely informs writer Yates’ representation of the port city. It is beautiful, it is fun and it is bustling with life. A second focal character is introduced coming into Sapphire Bay – a slave named Finn – who is certain to continue on with Ariana into further issues. Finn is Ariana’s literary foil in every way. For all the brilliant adventure wound up in Anne Bonnie #2 Finn is quiet, reserved, frightened and quite tragic.
In addition to Finn Ariana has a familiar, a phoenix, in place of the traditional parrot, who is singularly responsible for introducing Finn to Ariana and is conveniently placed during all key moments of the issue. It feels like Yates is laying the groundwork for a big reveal about the true potential and magical abilities of this character.
Anne Bonnie #2 comes to a climax with Ariana rescuing Finn from his oppressive elven owner. She is a vile princess who not only looks down her long nose on Sapphire Bay as a settlement, but on human beings as a race. The princess is from the mustache-twirling variety of pop culture villains and that can be a bit overbearing at times; taken in context of all-ages comic book making it quickly becomes more manageable. More interesting than she herself, is her assassin – the character in charge of tracking down (with the intention of putting to death), and, like the phoenix, there seem poised to be more revelations about him as the series continues.
Yates has built a sweet, fantastical world for Anne Bonnie #2 to exist within. Ariana is a spunky red-haired protagonist in the vein of Pippi Longstocking who is not as adept as she would like to be at her career of choice. While not necessarily the most individual of all potential fictional character Ariana will resonate with readers, especially young readers. Finn is already established through his brief appearances in Anne Bonnie #2 as an apt foil to not only help balance Ariana, but to set off the romantic narrative further down the line.
Anne Bonnie #2 is fun and hits all the beats of a long form pirate adventure story that Yates executes with aplomb, has an interesting lady protagonist and is acceptable material for any and all readers.
SWEET IF UNPOLISHED
As with many independent comic books writer Tim Yates also tackles every art duty that springs to mind. The splash pages in Anne Bonnie #2 and extreme character close ups are truly beautiful and show a lot of detail and strength of character design on Yates’ behalf. Some of the in between panels that are largely action based or deal merely in the realm of exposition feel less polished. They were certainly less interesting for Yates-as-artist to work on and that, unfortunately, comes across on the page.
As with the friendly, accessible style of writing Yates’ artwork remembers the expanse of its potential audience. Nothing in Anne Bonnie #2 is too sexy or too violent, Ariana is adorable, Finn is cute and the elven princess, for all her menace and power, remains fully clothed. All the ships are well rendered and belie some research in their inception and Sapphire Bay, particularly when we first encounter it in Anne Bonnie #2 is absolutely stunning.
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Anne Bonnie #2 is a simple story that hits all the beats readers will be expecting. While there is nothing startling in the issue the characters are there and they are led by a spunky girl pirate, the kind of which modern storytelling could use more of. At $1.99, Anne Bonnie #2 is a steal and if you check it out share it with the tiny comic reader in your life.