Xena, Gabrielle and Discord have finally made it back to Greece. So they go to Mt. Olympus to convince Zeus to take Discord back. They have to go through a labyrinth when they enter the mountain. While there they get attacked by a bunch of harpies. Luckily a minotaur comes and rescues them. This minotaur named Eris is a childhood friend of Discord. So they make it to meet Ares and Aphrodite. Discord gets them to call a meeting with Zeus. This meeting results in him finding out that it was Strife who was behind the scheme with the villagers. Strife gets sent into exile in the Americas. Discord transports Xena and Gabrielle back to her horse. The two go riding off into the sunset kissing.
So ends the world tour. It ends as it begun which is very inane and banal. This whole series was at best mediocre and at worse totally incomprehensible. I liked the idea of this traveling around the world but the implementation of the idea leaves something to be desired. The only real positive I can think of is this has reawakened my desire to watch the old Xena TV series. That was a great show and it has been a long time since I watched it. So I guess Vita has moved on to destroy bigger and better series and I will continue on to something hopefully more enjoyable.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Vasco Georgiev
Xena, Gabrielle and Discord are in a village in the Carpathian mountains. They have agreed to help against the Blood King in exchange for maps home. Discord is left behind as the two go off. Several days later Discord starts to wonder if the two aren’t coming back. News of a foreign warrior killed motivates her to check out the castle. She is given some important vampire tools by the innkeeper. So she gets in the forest and has to fight off a pack of large wolves. At the castle she finds Xena and Gabrielle who are very happy to see her. Only being a god Discord can sense they are under the blood curse. The Blood King offers Discord the opportunity to join him which she refuses. She manages to shoot a wooden crossbow bolt into his heart and he turns into a skeleton. Xena and Gabrielle are back to normal and they go to free the captive villagers. At the end the Blood King skeleton puts out the bolt and comes back to life.
Well this issue wasn’t that bad. It was really a Discord story with Xena as a guest star in her own mag. Yet the story moved along and was understandable. I liked how Discord was portrayed as this petulant and entitled woman. This actually is how I would have envisioned the character from the TV series. Still the ending was too easy. She just shoots the vampire and everyone is back to normal. Then the hackneyed ending of the vampire coming to life laughing just didn’t really fit. I mean are they just leaving the castle with all the captives and the vampire continues to prey on them. So almost at the end.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Erica D’Urso
Xena, Gabrielle and Discord are in the Russian Taiga walking home. They also brought along some kind of mammal creature from Central America. They come on a weird looking house inhabited by a little old woman. She takes them in and feeds them stew. She tells that she is a god and with her sisters helped out the local population. One day their sister fell in love with a mortal. This mortal got angry when she wouldn’t make him immortal. But he learned some other secrets that destroyed this sisterhood. The mortal also spread untruths and now everyone thinks the last surviving sister is a monster.
Well this is terrible because mortal believe effects the gods and she will become a monster. The house is attacked by some angry peasants which Xena and friends have no trouble fighting off. They decide to help the old woman and Gabrielle uses her storytelling ways to spread the story of Baba Yaga. A house that walks and I guess this is good for some reason. Xena also gets the son of the mortal to confirm this and I guess the old hag will go on being something better. For a reward she uses her powers to transport Xena and company closer home. They end up in front of a castle at night.
This issue was a bit more coherent than the last. Which isn’t saying much. Vita tried to somehow get the Russian myth of their boogeyman (remember John Wick?) as something positive which I don’t really get what’s going on. Hmm. Maybe this isn’t that coherent. Anyway the story continues on to what looks like Dracula’s castle. Also this issue had a new artist. There is a musical chair artist for this run so far. I really didn’t like the style. Everyone looked like little kids. Creepy little kids that were sad and had big eyes. At least the story moves fairly quick.
Xena, Gabrielle and Discord have been transported to the other side of the world. Somewhere in Central America. Discord is positive that Zeus will forgive her and give her back her powers. So while looking for a way home they find a tribe. Discord can speak their language and they are taken to their priest. He serves the god Kisin and he is trapped in the Underworld. The priest needs the feather of Quetzalcoatl. So the three go to another temple and get ambushed by the guards. They defeat them and meet a high priestess who welcomes them because she senses they are good. They talk a bit and find out what their quest is. After that they go back to the other priest with the feather only it is attached to the snake. This pisses the priest off and he teleports the three to Alaska.
OK well this story really didn’t make much sense to me. I have no idea what the whole deal with the feather was or why anything was going on. A lot of cutesy dialogue with an arrogant Discord whining about mortals. Oh and they get sent to Alaska for some reason. I have to say that this series is not going anywhere that makes sense.
“Chapter II: The Golden Army”
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artists: Olympia Sweetman & Vasil Georgiev
Xena has made a deal with Discord to save the children of the village. Her mission is to stop a Roman Legion that is destroying Discord’s temples. The only condition is she has to take the elders of the village with her. So they scout out the legion and find that they are destroying Discord’s temples on the orders of their god Deimos. Xena’s army trap the legion in a narrow pass. Then they trigger an avalanche which traps the legion in some tunnels that they recently dug. The Greek militia comes to the rescue and the defeated Romans are forced to go home. The village children are saved but Discord is angry. Zeus appears with Ares and Aphrodite because Discord did something. As punishment she is stripped of her godhood and banished to a far away land. Apparently Xena and Gabrielle are also caught in his lightning bolt and disappear.
Well the second issue has some OK stuff going on. Xena defeats the Romans and saves the children. There is some stuff not really clear. Like how did the Romans get trapped in tunnels? What the hell did Discord do to piss off Zeus? I suppose that could be answered next issue. Plus we have the various talking about feelings going on. Then there is the cutie lesbian thing going on between Xena and Gabrielle which just isn’t the characters established in the series.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Olympia Sweetman
Xena and Gabrielle are rescuing travelers from bandits. After this they are approached by a man that needs help. The goddess Discord is going to take the children of his village. When they arrive they find that the children of the village are uncommonly strong. It is later revealed that years ago the village was going through a plague. They made a deal with Discord to save them but the grandchildren would be forfeit. So Discord comes for the children and she offers the villagers a new deal. Kill Xena for the lives of their children. Some try and fail. Xena offers a deal to Discord. She can have her if she spares the children.
So this is my first experience with Vita Ayala. She supposedly has more work to do these days because she checks so many diversity boxes and more important works dirt cheap. Well I didn’t really find her writing very boldly progressive or really inspiring. She does have Xena and Gabrielle in an open lesbian relationship which the TV series did imply. I thought it was just a little too cutsie. She never really captured the characters that were established in the TV series. Also the dialogue was a bit wooden and hokey.
Still it had some interesting ideas. It was competently written if not very inspiring. It ends with the reader wanting to find out what comes after Xena offers herself so we will see what the next issue brings.
The story starts twelve years ago and shows how Sevdis became obsessed with Xena. She writes a play but can’t get anyone to make it. So now in the present she plans to become Xena. She is going to kill Gabrielle and take her place. Before she can a visitor comes and tells of a problem with double booking of the stage. So she has to leave to take care of this. This gives Gabrielle time to get out of her tied hands. Conveniently Joxer finds her and busts the door down. Outside Xena finds Sevdis and the two get into a fight. It is a fight that Xena has no problem winning. This snaps Sevdis out of her obsession and she apologizes for all the trouble she caused. Xena and Gabrielle leave as Autolycus has to deal with angry gamblers he stiffed.
This was an OK story. Nothing really heavy and nobody got hurt. A sort of lite story that the TV series would show to break up the more heavy stories. Naturally everyone in the village thinks the fight is part of the show. So ends this series of Xena. It had it’s ups and downs. On the whole I enjoyed it. I think the Schultz stories were a bit better but both writers did a good job of capturing the feel of the series. I loved this artists rendering of the characters. He was definitely a good choice. A nice little trip down memory lane. I loved this TV series back in the day and will have to check it out again sometime.
Xena and Gabrielle come to a village that is celebrating Xenafest. Everyone is dressed like Xena or Gabrielle. They are selling all sorts of souvenirs with Xena’s image. She finds out that Autolycus is selling tickets to the real Xena experience. Which is him telling stories about his times with Xena. So she goes to meet him while Gabrielle goes off to explore the fest. Xena finds Autolycus and she is not happy that he is exploiting her name to make money. She finds out this was the idea of a woman named Sevdis. Meanwhile Gabrielle meets this Sevdis and she takes Gabrielle to her home which is a shrine to Xena. Sevdis knocks out Gabrielle because she is a very obsessed fan who wants to become Xena.
This was a fun issue. It reminded me of the more lighthearted ones that the TV series had. I’m surprised they never did one with the theme of a cosplay convention. We also get Autolycus and Joxer as his security as guest stars. The villain is not very overpowering but that is fine. You need a little more relaxing stories now and then as the series did.
Xena and Gabrielle leave Nazar with the Amazons as they go off to confront the Oracle. After they leave the avatar of Artemis attacks the Amazons. Meanwhile Xena and Gabrielle arrive at the Oracle. Xena fights the avatar of Apollo while Gabrielle goes to free Nazar’s parents. Only the Oracle attacks her. Gabrielle manages to get a choke hold on the Oracle and threaten to use a neck pressure technique that will kill the Oracle. So the Oracle surrenders and the avatars revert to green goop. At the end Nazar’s parents reconcile with Nazar. Nazar decides to stay with the Amazons as Xena and Gabrielle ride off to further adventures. Later Callisto visits the defeated Oracle to belittle them for their defeat and how she will destroy Xena.
Well this was a good solid story. We had plenty of action. The Amazons looked like they were completely destroyed but at the end it was revealed that most were just injured and healing just fine. Xena and Gabrielle defeat the two-headed Oracle. Gabrielle was the one to shine in this story. She saved the day with her bluff to kill the Oracle. She didn’t really have any knowledge to do the neck pressure kill. A good story with good art and a nice little foreshadowing of conflict to come.
Ten years ago Nazar and her sister Jacoba are playing when Nazar gets her visions. Jacoba goes to get their parents and instead trips and hits her head, killing her. At the funeral pyre Nazar rescues Jacoba’s doll to remember her by. Now ten years later the Oracle has the doll thanks to her parents. The Oracle uses their magic to cut the doll in two and create soulless avatars of Apollo and Artemis. Apollo is sent to kidnap Nazar’s parents while Artemis to kill Nazar. She attacks her but has to fight Xena and Gabrielle. The fight ends in victory and the Artemis avatar is recalled.
Xena decides that Nazar would be safe with the Amazons so takes her there. The queen Keenta has issues with Xena and when she hears that the Oracle is after Nazar wants nothing to do with her. Only Nazar channels her psychic abilities and convinces Keenta that she will be a great seer and benefit to the tribe. So she agrees to take Nazar in while Xena and Gabrielle go off to rescue Nazar’s parents and confront the Oracle.
This has been a decent story so far. It has a good villain in the two headed Oracle of Delphi. The faceless and soulless avatars make for a formidable foe for Xena to fight. We get some back story on Nazar and a clear goal for Xena. Plus the beautiful art of Cifuentes is also welcome.