Xena: Warrior Princess, published by Dynamite Comics follows the mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle. Written by Vita Ayala, with art by Jordi Pérez, colors from Rebecca Nalty, and letters by Ariana Maher, Xena: Warrior Princess #3 follows out heroes Xena and Gabrielle as they’re spirited away to a land far from Greece.
The pair are stuck with the now former goddess Discord as she endures her punishment which was dealt out in the last issue by her father Zeus, the story has taken a sharp turn. In addition to the main cover, by David Mack there are additional variants which showcase the best animals of the Amazon: capybaras. With one by Emanuela Lupacchino and one by Paulina Ganucheau, which is featured above, the scene is set.
Now, in Xena: Warrior Princess #3 it’s all about survival in a strange land for Gabrielle and Xena as Discord is assured that her brother Ares will eventually give her back her godhood and pull them back to Greece. As Xena and Gabrielle hunt and sustain the group, Discord pouts. However, when the trio encounters the natives of the Mirador Basin – modern day Petén, Guatemala – Discord is their lifeline to figuring out where they are and how to potentially get out.
The three are led to the Temple of Kisin, where they embark on a quest given them to by the high priest to help resurrect their god and hopefully get home. As they embark on the journey the deal may not be what they thought and as they invade another temple they’ll have to prove themselves to make it to the next step and use their wits to keep from dying.
At this point, I feel like I’m repeating myself but Ayala and their team have once again created an issue that just feels like Xena. Our warrior princess pops off the page and the humor sings. Ayala’s writing is that of a fan and their mixture of Mesoamerican myth and setting into a Xena tale. As a Latina, this is an area often left unexplored despite its vibrant lore and to see Ayala craft a story that puts it in the focus is unique and sets their iteration of Xena apart from others.
The art of this issue is different from the last two as Pérez has taken over artist duties. While it isn’t bad, there are panels that lack details in the characters’ faces even when it is a close-up, causing a distortion in their image, most notably for Discord (shown above). While her clothing is still on point, the illustration of her face is an interesting choice and one that doesn’t sit well compared to the care shown to our two main characters. That being said, the wildlife, foliage, and indigenous peoples shown are well drawn and eye-catching.
Nalty’s colors continue to be well done and set a distinctive tone for the series. While the lettering of the panels where Discord and indigenous people talk is perfectly done, with some words coming out in English while surrounded by runic writing.
Overall, Xena: Warrior Princess #3 continues a great series. Each month, I patiently wait for the next issue like I used to wait for new episodes of the television show. I can’t think of a better writer behind my childhood icon, and as the story seems to be taking us well beyond Greek mythology, the series is fresh, fun, and something I have fallen completely in love with.
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.