Gabrielle, a young bard in Ancient Greece, is travelling alone on foot to Athens in search of adventure when she is attacked by a group of bandits who threaten to sell her to slavers. Instead she is rescued by Xena, a former warlord seeking to make up for her dark past. Xena agrees to escort Gabrielle to escort her to Athens to keep her safe. However, Callisto, another warrior woman whose village was slaughtered by Xena's band, is out for revenge and wants to hurt Xena's friends to get to her.
Xena: Penance is the latest comic adaptation of the popular fantasy television series Xena, Warrior Princess. For some reason, Dynamite Comics, who recently acquired the rights to the franchise, has chosen to reboot the story, so Xena and Gabrielle's first meeting plays out a little differently from the way it does in the show and the previous comics. This may annoy some readers, but it does allow for a confrontation aboard a burning pirate ship, which I consider a bonus.
The writer, Meredith Finch (of Wonder Woman) has done a great job of capturing the characters, in their dialogue and actions. The art, by Vincente Cifuentes (New Suicide Squad), is decent, with all the characters looking the way they are supposed to, with the exception of Xena's footwear. It's been a while since I watched the show but I'm pretty sure she never wore stiletto boots. While the show's creators made no bones about putting in historical anachronisms or physical impossibilities when it suited the story, it just doesn't make sense for the character that Xena would sacrifice practicality and comfort for the sake of adding a few extra inches to her already statuesque form.
These are not the boots of a Warrior Princess.
Xena: Penance is a promising start to the new comic series, and I look forward to seeing what other adventures await this star-crossed pair of adventurers.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Diamond Book Distributors in exchange for an honest review.