Title: Xena Warrior Princess (2019-) #1
Words: Vita Ayala
Art: Olympia Sweetman
Colors: Rebecca Nalty
Published: April 17, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings…a land in turmoil called out for a hero! She was XENA, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle! In this all-new series, writer VITA AYALA (Black Panther, Shuri, Wonder Woman, The Wilds) and artist OLYMPIA SWEETMAN throw Xena and her companion Gabrielle headfirst into a mysterious adventure. Can Xena discover the secrets of a village full of super-strong children, before jealous and petty GODS get involved?
Xena is back! Cue the happy dance.
In this new adventure, Xena’s traveling around with Gabrielle helping along her journey, as a Warrior Princess does. Almost immediately the pair are thrown into a challenge as they called to a village to save the children from the Goddess of Discourse. How will Xena fair against the deity?
Xena Warrior Princess (2019-) #1 transports readers back to a time when gods and mortals lived together, though rarely in harmony. Vita Ayala’s reimagining of Xena is thoroughly kick-ass, as the Warrior Princess puts everything on the line in this first issue. For a debut, Ayala finds an excellent balance between story development and action, offering readers a fast paced first issue. The story moves quickly, building momentum even in the space between panels.
As for the character herself, Ayala depicts Xena with strength and a quiet grace. This Warrior Princess is thoughtful and calculating, while also possessing some killer fight moves. The combination is dynamic, especially when paired with Gabrielle’s talent for communication.
Olympia Sweetman takes the issue to the next level with the art. Lacking the typical grit one might expect from a warrior story, Sweetman’s art is descriptive, with clean lines. While Xena and Gabrielle are exceptionally well drawn, I found myself most intrigued by the setting. Sweetman creates the landscape that looks familiar enough you feel comfortable, but foreign enough for you to immediately know it’s not modern times. All of this perfectly reflected in Rebecca Nalty’s colors which are a pallet of rich, vibrant colors.
The Bottom Line
Xena Warrior Princess (2019-) #1 immediately launches into the first adventure. Vita Ayala and Olympia Sweetman compose a tremendous debut issue. Do not miss this new Xena series.