Writer Meredith Finch (Wonder Woman) will be scripting Dynamite Entertainment's new Xena comic series that kicks off in February 2018. And that first issue will have a cover by David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight). I had a chance to talk to Finch about the new project, her thoughts on the property and working with artist Vincente Cifuentes.
DAN WICKLINE: Xena became a worldwide phenomenon when it was on the air. Why do you think the series connected with so many fans? What is it about Xena and Gabby that made them an iconic pair?
MEREDITH FINCH: I think that part of what made Xena so appealing was the that it was such a well written show with a strong female lead, and there just wasn't enough of that at the time. I would say that also speaks to why Xena and Gabrielle made such an iconic pair. Their interactions felt very authentic, and reflected a much more accurate representation of how women relate and interact with each other,
DW: What can you tell me about the story you're telling? Who is Xena and Gabby going up against and what type of setting are we going to see?
MF: Xena's biggest enemy in this arc will ultimately be herself. I really wanted to explore her transition from murderous warlord to hero. To that end the characters/antagonists that are familiar to fans really reflect that theme.
MF: When I looked at Xena as a character one word kept coming to mind – redemption. Everything she does, everything she is, comes from her need to redeem herself from the crimes of her past. I think that is something we can all relate to, and I hope that readers come away with a deeper understanding of just how difficult that can really be.
DW: Were you familiar with Xena prior to taking on the assignment? What drew you to take it on? How much research into the TV series did you do before starting?
MF: I was a huge fan of the TV series when it first aired, and I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to add to Xena's lore. I did go back and watch the Hercules episodes in which Xena first appeared, along with her first couple of episodes, to re-familiarize myself with her journey and the dynamic between the characters.
DW: Tell me about your artist. Who are you working with on Xena and what is it about their art that works for the series? Do you know any of the cover artists the series will have?
MF: I have the incredible fortune to work with Vicente Cifuentes on this book. Vicente is so incredibly good at creating a visual mood, and he really understands the nuances of the characters. He is as much of a fan of the original series as I am. I love that he is able to bring a vulnerability to the character that doesn't undermine her strength. We also have some incredible cover artists on the series, including my husband, David Finch, and the artist on my Image book, Ig Guara.
DW: I like to end the interview by asking the creator to give me that one sentence sales pitch. Why should readers, some of who have never seen the television show, pick up this series?
MF: At its heart, Xena is a story about forgiveness, and the importance of friendship to the process of healing.