Xena Warrior Princess #01

by Tori B. on April 12, 2016

It’s the return of Xena, Warrior Princess! It’s been nearly 10 years since her last adventure in comic print, but story wise she’s been gone for 25 years and the world is much different than she last remembered. Xena and Gabrielle are about to fight for a world free from Roman rule. 


Writer: Genevieve Valentine

Artist: Ariel Medel

Cover Artist: Jenny Frison

Colorist: Nanjan Jamberi

Letterer: Rob Steen 


As far as feminist icons go, Xena Warrior Princess ranks pretty high on the list. A force to be reckoned with on the television and in comics for a while there, it’s refreshing to see her return. Xena and Gabrielle’s latest adventure takes place after a 25 year slumber and near annihilation of the Roman gods. As a first issue goes, the story is set up nicely, laying down the foundations of the world Xena and Gabrielle are walking into and readers get to experience it as they do, walking through towns and villages and listening to them speak and how watching how they react to news around them. Though the plot is heavily influenced by classical history and myth, it’s easy enough to follow along even if one isn’t completely up to par on their classics knowledge. The buildup isn’t an exposition of background information, but the relevant information is presented on a need to know basis. Flashbacks and explanative conversations serve when needed without becoming encumbering or wordy. 


It’s light on story and action, as a first issue it focuses on set up, reminding or introducing readers to what kind of heroes Xena and Gabrielle are. It begins with a rescue of two young girls from villagers intent on harming them. As they bring the girls back to their family, Xena and Gabrielle learn of the world that surrounds them, and what their options are to be come the future. First and foremost, Xena and Gabrielle are kind and caring heroes, as noted by how they care for their young charges, but they also have a playful side and are also not a force to be reckoned with. 


For a Xena adventure, it’s easy to want a lot of action panels, which this issue doesn’t completely deliver on, as mentioned, there’s a lot of setup involved to what seems like an action-packed second issue. That’s not saying there isn’t any action at all, in a flashback sequence, Xena has a tussle with some Roman soldiers, and the big build up leads to a confrontation with some fighters from Xena’s past. Just the perfect amount of suspense to want to grab the next issue. 


As for the art, the composition of it is strong. The characters never seem static and are expressive in ways that stay true to their character. Xena is strikingly beautiful with unnaturally strong cheekbones. Gabrielle is beautiful but full of more playful expressions, in fact her face is incredibly expressive which is fun to see. 


This is a fun and light first issue to ease readers back into the world of Xena, with a promising future ahead. 




Our Score:


A Look Inside