Xena: Warrior Princess is a new series from Dynamite Comics following the mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle. After a stellar first issue that brought me directly back to the 1990s television show, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on issue number two. Written by Vita Ayala, with art by Olympia Sweetman and Vasil Georgiev, colors from Rebecca Nalty, and letters by Ariana Maher Xena: Warrior Princess #2 continues the story of the mysterious village that has made a deal with Discord, the goddess of chaos.
Having previously uncovered that villagers were in a blood debt to the goddess Discord which required that the parents turned over their super-strengthed children, Xena strikes a deal to spare the children. However, the issue becomes more complicated as she Xena finds herself in a fight between two god, and with names like Strife and Discord you can bet it isn’t easy to navigate. Xena agrees to lead an army against an incoming Roman legion, set on destroying all traces of Discord.
But the army isn’t made up of the young super-powered children, instead, it’s comprised of the village elders. Leading a geriatric army against a Roman Legion is no easy feat and between Ayala’s writing and Sweetman’s art, Xena: Warrior Princess # 2 does well to portray that. Beyond the art offering dynamic action sequences with Xena, the dialogue pulls the reader into Xena’s world and the wit and humor keep the action grounded in the campy goodness that fans of the television series have come to love.
As Xena finds herself a plaything of the gods, something she isn’t particularly happy about, we get to see a classic Xena move: the pinch. By using the pressure point on a Roman guard Xena is able to interrogate and learn more about the legion, since the bidding of a god is rarely explained in full. Here, Sweetman and Georgiev’s art really shines, a swift hand, impact, and the words about having to talk before the blood supply is cut off the to brain came rushing back although not on the page.
While Ayala’s script is solid all around, it really shines in the exchange between Gabrielle and Xena as they await the Roman Legion’s advance on the village. Obviously in love, and sharing a kiss, their exchange feels genuine and offers exposition without becoming heavy-handed. In fact, this brief scene of the two talking and looking out across the land I found myself pining for more of their interactions.
That being said Xena: Warrior Princess #2 offers a balance of action, relationship, and arguing between gods and while I find myself more of each piece, that’s a testament to the talents of the creative team ability to leave the reader wanting more and not a note on the issue lacking. In fact, issue number offers readers all the things that makes the franchise great.
Sweetman and Georgiev’s art is unique. It offers enough resemblance to the actors who made the characters of Xena and Gabrielle iconic while also holding an individuality that makes more than a simple illustration of real people, making the comic counterparts unique while also familiar. Nalty’s colors of this issue are well done and really shine in the last pages of the book where gods get to do god things.
Overall, I came to this new series out of a love for Xena and I’m staying because of a creative team that feeds that nostalgia while also offering up an interesting and unique world of their own.
Xena: Warrior Princess #2 is available where comics are sold now.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.