Xena: Warrior Princess #3
Vita Ayala (writer), Triona Farrell (cover), Paulina Ganucheau (cover), Emanuela Lupacchino (cover), David Mack (cover), Ariana Maher (lettering), Rebecca Nalty (colors), Jordi Pérez (art)
June 12th, 2019
I don’t know if my gushing is getting repetitive here, but gush I must, and as loudly and proudly as possible. Xena: Warrior Princess #3 joyfully keeps up with the adventures of Discord, Xena, and Gabrielle with humor, heart, and wit, and the journey it takes us on continues to be entertaining.
When we last left our heroines, Xena and Gabrielle had been caught up in a portal Zeus conjured to banish Discord to the ends of the earth after stripping her of her powers and banishing her from Mount Olympus for eternity. They land in the Mirador Basin in Mexico and, after they make contact with the locals, Discord plans to communicate with Ares via their holy man. But Tadeas, servant of the Great Kisin, wants something in return: the power to return Kisin to the earth. The threesome embark on a death-defying quest to fulfill this bargain, and soon figure out that Discord accidentally makes a deathless bargain with Tadeas—one that could doom them all forever.
Vita Ayala’s writing balances drama, humor, and action without a single misstep. Discord continues to be a true stand-out, with some laugh-out-loud funny lines in this issue. Her arrogance makes a great foil for Gabrielle’s pluckiness, and an even better one for Xena’s taciturn seriousness. Their various conflicts and attempts at getting along are very, very entertaining, and they brush up against some godly characters that have some potential to be interesting—specifically Q’uq’umatz, who is gorgeous. I hope they’ll return in further issues.
There is a twist to the typical Xena formula, though: we have another switch-up in the art department. With this issue, Jordi Pérez becomes the third person to draw this particular reboot—and since the departure of Olympia Sweetnam in the second, there will apparently be a rotating cast of artists through the next three issues. Pérez does a good job maintaining consistency with the general quality of Sweetnam and Georgiev’s work, and they also do a fairly good job keeping likenesses character-accurate. But their style is slightly cartoony, versus the more realistic look Sweetnam favors. This is no real hardship, but there are a few panels that were a little less than perfect at first glance.
But this is a small blemish on a delicious, juicy, entertaining pear. Xena: Warrior Princess #3 continues to make an impact in my reading pile, one of Dynamite’s best products to this date and still my highest recommended summer read.