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Catapulting Xena fans worldwide into the new year with a reforged comic book series is a resolution we can all enjoy, as Dynamite Entertainment has just announced the return of the charismatic heroine as part of their big 15th anniversary in 2019.
Xena: Warrior Princess #1 doesn't attack comic shops until April, but SYFY WIRE has an early look at five of its provocative covers and a spectacular splash page of interior art. The sword-swinging project boasts writing by Vita Ayala (Black Panther, Shuri, Wonder Woman, The Wilds), with kinetic art by newbie Olympia Sweetman, colors by Rebecca Nalty (WWE, Sparrowhawk), and lettering via Ariana Maher (James Bond 007, Nancy Drew).
In 1995, Xena: Warrior Princess, starring Lucy Lawless, was first spawned as a TV spinoff of the Kevin Sorbo-led Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and lasted 134 episodes before hanging up its daggers and chakrams in 2001.
This fresh sword-and-sorcery storyline travels back to ancient Greece with the former warlord and her loyal companion Gabrielle while they investigate a strange village where children are displaying uncanny feats of strength. Are the exalted Greek gods involved in this unusual trickery, or do they have plans to meddle in these odd affairs of mankind?
Ayala is best known for her exceptional work on a wealth of diverse books, like IDW's Marvel Action: Black Panther, DC's Supergirl, and Dynamite's recent Magic: The Gathering - Chandra.
“I am incredibly excited to be working on Xena!" Ayala says in an official Dynamite statement. "She is my favorite character of all time, and to be able to work on any project involving her is an honor. The team has a lot of fun things in store for readers, including some old frenemies and travel to places that even Xena has never seen before!”
Artist Olympia Sweetman is thrilled to be aligned with this Xena project and feels very fortunate to be penciling such an iconic and interesting character.
"To me, one of the most exciting aspects of drawing this book is having the opportunity to depict the vivid and interesting world of Xena, including the scoundrels, gods and allies," she reveals in the Dynamite press release. "This is my first major comics job, and I am putting my all into this book!"
Editor Nate Cosby promises bounding adventures that accumulate and grow to a massive overarching story seeded with deep emotion.
"Did you dig the Xena television series?" Cosby asks fans in Dynamite's reveal. "You will adore what Vita, Olympia, Rebecca and Ariana are cooking up with this series. And if you don’t know what Xena’s about? This is the perfect place to start!”
Behold our peek at April's premiere issue in the gallery below, showcasing a range of colorful covers from an all-star roster of talent including David Mack (Daredevil, Jessica Jones), Emanuela Lupacchino (Wonder Woman, Supergirl), Erica Henderson (Squirrel Girl), Paulina Ganucheau (Black Panther), and Raúl Allén and Patricia Martin (Wonder Woman, Livewire).