Be prepared for a “Groundhog Day”-like experience. I opened the cover and found exactly the same beginning. It looked like that was how it was going to go right up to Xena summoning Ash but he was intercepted and things went a little off course. I know. I know. I tried this title a second time, hoping that it would have improved but it went by so quickly that I couldn’t tell what it was trying to get across. Yeah, we got it. Time travel by the inexperienced equals bad. What purpose did these panels serve? Well, we are rewarded with Ash going to the wrong time.
The art really saves the book again. Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Galindo do really well for both Ash and Xena (what “little” we see of her). The lettering really pulls you through the story and the colors are vivid in all the right places. The neutral tones help tell the age of the ancient one Ash meets; the lines on her face are perfect and reflect the wisdom that Ash scorns. However, I opened my copy of issue one and they really could have used the same panels for pages three and four. The background on five was different but the frames were essentially the same. The cover art is misleading, kind of, and still no Ash-kicking shenanigans, however it’s more Chekov’s Gun than anything else. But the cover is really good.
There’s a phrase I hear a lot in screenwriting – “Late in, early out.” It’s a good saying. I would have loved for that to have happened here. Cut the first two pages and give us more of the travel interruption on either end. The writing is very “in character.” Maybe this is just me, but I can hear Bruce Campbell saying every line that comes from Ash and the same goes for Xena and Gabrielle. (Lucy Lawless and Renée O’Connor, respectively.) Another thing that is helpful for writers, and in this case, artists, to remember is if it’s not essential to the story don’t keep it. In my opinion, instead of opening the issue just like last issue, cut right to Ash being yanked through time mid business with one small panel showing Xena tearing the page. It leaves time for more in the story. But, you don’t have to take my word for it.
I give this 3 out of 5 smiley boxer shorts.
Let us know if you love/hate this cross over!