Xena: Warrior Princess #6
Vita Ayala (writer); Olympia Freeman and Vasco Georgiev (art); Paulina Ganucheau, David Mack, Rachel Stott (covers); Ariana Maher (lettering); Rebecca Nalty (colors)
September 11th, 2019
It’s all come to this. Apparently, the final issue of Dynamite’s Xena reboot (BOO!), Xena: Warrior Princess #6, is bantery and beautiful, bringing together all the themes that have been laced throughout the series: the importance of found family, of sticking together, and being true to yourself.
After their magic-laden odyssey across the globe, Discord, Xena, and Gabrielle finally sail into Greece, which means Discord finally has to confront her relatives on Mount Olympus. Refusing to abandon their friend, Gabrielle and Xena discover that they must traverse a complicated labyrinth to reach the top of the mountain and confront the Gods. Harpies and Minotaurs await them, as do Ares and Aphrodite. In the end, Discord’s fate will be a matter of figuring out who really ordered the destruction of her temples and why.
This final issue is definitely an entertaining conclusion to the series. Everyone gets proper closure, from Discord to the gang’s furry little marmot companion. Every little bit of the issue works beautifully, from the emotional resolution of the Xena/Gab/Discord friendship to some great inter-god bantering. There’s also a good action scene that ties the whole issue together, laid out in a way that’s exciting and engaging. And Xena/Gabby fans—you’re definitely gonna want to pick this issue up. It’s worth it for the last page alone.
To finish off the series, Olympia Freeman and Vasco Georgiev team up to produce attractive and delightful-looking art. Though Xena’s maybe a hair more muscular than her TV counterpart, she looks strong and tough, and the fight scenes are as well-drawn as the sweeping, romantic panels.
Vita Ayala, as always, knocks it out of the park with their writing. Humor, passion, action, and a little bit of family drama and friendship feelings collide in this issue, and they mix beautifully.
But there’s something else to note about the issue, something that I hope won’t be overlooked by the reader; Maher’s lettering and Nalty’s coloring are so much fun here. There’s some delights to be had with the ways the Gods speak; when Dite is introduced, for instance, she produces pale pink speech bubbles with elegant, italicized pale violet font; Ares’ speech bubbles are pink with red lettering; Strife’s are black with white font, and Zeus’ are white with black and golden outlines. I can’t tell you how much I liked these little details; it’s an amusing little thing that adds just a little extra life to the proceedings. Nalty’s coloring in general impressed me throughout the series—the way she manages to catch the gloomy cold of shadows and the hazy warmth of sunlight are simply enchanting—and here it’s notably lovely.
Xena: Warrior Princess has been such a good, fun ride. Every last piece of it has brought my love of the show’s sword-slinging, somersault-turning, heart-on-its-sleeve-and-tongue-in-its-cheek beauty. I’m going to miss it now that it’s done, and you shouldn’t miss this final issue.