Xena suffers from nightmares of her own possible atrocities. Upon waking up, she and Gabrielle continue their strained journey towards Athens. A slave ship with an old acquaintance waits for her in the city. However, the Warrior Princess must survive Gabrielle’s curiosity and stubbornness to even face this person.
Disclosure: the Xena television series was before my time, and it’s not one of those things that I went back and experienced.
One of the most appealing qualities of this comic is the feminist contrast between Xena and Gabrielle. Xena is brooding, angry, and has a history of violence. Gabrielle is more cheery, curious, and more in touch with her feelings, but she still rejected the traditional family role that was offered to her at home. Xena represents something of the masculine/feminine binary here, and Gabrielle represents that there can be something in between.
Xena is unpleasant in this comic. She’s just angry and actively tries to quash Gabrielle’s personality. However, the comic seems to be aiming for an arc here where Gabrielle, who is far more charming, will bring the Warrior Princess out of her shell once more.
The comic is fun and has its fun qualities. It focuses more on character interaction and development than plot advancement. It doesn’t try anything new, but it’s not unpleasant. What really helps are some of the weird quirks and jokes you don’t often see in a setting like this.
Vicente Cifuentes brings a more realistic style that fleshes out the world well. The characters are mobile and expressive. Xena herself look startlingly like Lucy Lawless herself, which is impressive. Triona Farrell’s color art is similarly good, bringing a good balance of color to the comic. A more dynamic color contrast could add some more life to the visuals, though.
Xena: Warrior Princess #2 is a decently fun read. It didn’t blow me away, and the plot feels aimless. However, it wasn’t unpleasant. I can easily recommend it to fans of this franchise, but it’s not a must-read at all.
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