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MEREDITH FINCH talks XENA #1, on sale in FEBRUARY!

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  • MEREDITH FINCH talks XENA #1, on sale in FEBRUARY!

    MEREDITH FINCH talks XENA #1, on sale in FEBRUARY from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: Meredith, Dynamite Entertainment has produced many tales of Xena and it seems everyone falls in love with the character; true also for Red Sonja. What is it about the woman warrior character in general and Xena in particular that makes her a writer’s favorite vehicle?

    MEREDITH FINCH: In an industry that is dominated by larger than life super-powered characters, I think that a big part of the appeal of characters like Xena and Red Sonja is their lack of super power. They are regular women doing extraordinary things through sheer strength of will and determination. Their very humanity is what allows a reader to connect so strongly to their struggles. We relate to the struggle of overcoming obstacles in our own lives that can sometimes feel like giants, just as Xena battles her own monsters, both real and internal.

    BB: Were you a fan of the TV show? What is the inspiration for the iteration you will be bringing readers in February?

    MF: I was, and still am, a huge fan of the TV show. I tried very hard not to miss episodes in days where that was much more difficult – you actually had to know how to program a VCR, lol. What I looked at, when I considered taking the job of writing Xena, was how to expand her audience and introduce a character that I feel very passionate about to a new generation of comic book readers. Our Xena will be bringing the character back to basics and focusing on exploring the main theme of redemption for a warrior princess turned heroine.

    BB: What more can you tell us about the storyline for your new Xena series?

    MF: As I said, I really wanted to reintroduce the character and her journey/search for redemption from a past of murderous mayhem. We are picking up her story immediately after she has been shown the error of her ways by Hercules, and we’re reimagining her first meeting with Gabrielle. I think that established fans will find it fresh, but also familiar at the same time, while new fans will be able to jump on at issue #1 and really come to understand why Xena is such an incredible woman. I hope we can do justice to what it is about her that inspires such loyalty, both in her companions as well as in her fans.

    BB: What other characters may be important to this series? Can you introduce some of them, old and new (if applicable), to us please?

    MF: Obviously, there is no Xena without Gabrielle, so people can definitely expect to see her play a significant role in our storyline. I have also gone through and tried to pick an antagonist from her rogues gallery that I think really plays to her journey of redemption. But if you want to know more than that, you’re going to have to read the series!

    BB: As you’ve said, redemption seems to be a prevailing theme for this book. Can you elucidate?

    MF: I really feel like this is part of the reason why Xena connects on so many levels to her fans. I can’t think of a person who doesn’t have a skeleton in his or her closet (I certainly do). In Xena, you have a woman who has committed terrible crimes against the people of Greece. She works very hard at learning to forgive herself and leave her past behind her by trying to make the world a better place. People find inspiration in that, and I think it helps to know that, just like Xena’s journey, it’s okay that our road to redemption is full of bumps along the way.

    BB: In the past, Xena’s comics writers have sometimes tried hard to sandwich their tale’s continuity into the warrior princess’ overall saga. You are taking a different path with this new book?

    MF: I think this was the single biggest reason why I requested to be allowed to reboot the character and the series. I felt like trying to shoehorn into established continuity was really making the stories inaccessible for people new to Xena. I have such love and passion for the character, and I wanted to have the opportunity to share her amazing story with a new generation of fans.

    BB: What does artist Vicente Cifuentes bring to this heroic table?

    MF: I contacted several friends in the industry when I started looking for an artist for this book, and I saw a lot of amazing art, but one piece really stood out. It was a pinup that, for me, really saw into the heart of the character, and showcased not only her power as a warrior princess, but also a vulnerability. It was that balance that really struck me in the piece by Vincente Cifuentes. Vicente has as much love and passion for the character as I do. He is so incredibly good at capturing the impish innocence of Gabrielle, and the hard veneer of our warrior princess. So much of what made the TV show great was the facial expressions and subtle humor. Vicente really excels when it comes to those details. He is also incredibly great at creating a setting that adds to the feel and emotion of each scene. Fans can absolutely expect to see characters they love drawn in breathtaking detail with Vicente’s incredible skill.

    BB: And I heard about a cover for #1, coming in February, from an artist named David Finch? Any information on this gentleman? (laughs)

    MF: Well, David is a relative newcomer to the industry with only 20-plus years of experience (laughs) and as the incredible and always supportive husband he is, he agreed to draw several covers for this book. I always tell people that he is my first editor, loudest critic and biggest fan. I am very blessed to have him in my life.