Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Home » Reviews » Review - Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 (@DynamiteComics)
"Summon the warrior who walks through time."
Xena and Gabrielle face all manner of enemy in their travels and the two of them can typically handle whatever is thrown at them. Sometimes the odds are a little too overwhelming though and they need help. Xena has an in with Hercules, but when his strength isn't the right type of help she needs a little more boom. Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 from Dynamite Comics offers plenty of the boom. The issue is written by Scott Lobdell, illustrated by Elliot Fernandez, colored by Pete Pantazis and lettered by Taylor Esposito.
You're Xena the Warrior Princess and your thousand strong army has fallen to an implacable and ancient evil. What do you do? You suck it up and summon the only ally who stands any hope at all of helping you prevent the end of the world. Unfortunately, that lone man is the wise ass, ass kicking, time traveling, woman kissing, boom sticker known as Ash!
Xena is a relatiively unsung hero of feminism from the 90s who rarely has difficulty staving off whatever opponent she's confronted with at the moment. That fact makes Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 feel a little sexist at times, but Lobdell doesn't let it bog down in the issue in that Xena doesn't stand for Ash's brash personality for long. Lobdell does a fantastic job of giving the reader all the Ash they can handle, ensuring that his personality fits the established persona right down to the catch phrases. And there's always a grander plan in place when Ash is required to assist, but most of the issue is just Xena saying he doesn't need Ash. It's a little weird in its approach and Lobdell surely has his own grand plan in mind for how the series will play out; however, Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 is paced oddly and seems content to spend most of its time parading Ash around.
The artwork by Fernandez is very sharp, both literally and figuratively. His style defines the characters with lines that the cut the page and really stand out. Ash is illustrated tremendous swagger that's offset by the sense of poise Fernandez infuses both Xena and Gabrielle with as they wage their latest battle. The panels are arranged in an invigorating fashion that mimics the sense of chaos that seems to follow Ash wherever/whenever he goes. And Pantazis provide colors that really pop off the page and buoy the issue with a vibrancy.
Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 is an interesting first issue in terms of what it sets out to accomplish with the team-up of Xena and Ash. Ash spends the majority of the issue with Xena, but the two of them don't seem to click where they need to. Lobdell nails the personality of both characters well and their interplay provides for some very entertaining exchanges. The artwork by Fernandez is clean and slick, providing plenty of gorgeous, two-page spreads to take in. Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 will definitely appeal to fans of either of its starring franchises, but new readers might be a little put-off by the first issue that seems to be running in place narratively.
Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Forever...And a Day #1 is in stores October 5.