ABSTRACT - EDGINGTON, IAN & DIADOTA JNR, MIKE – XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS - THE MAGNIFICENT SVEN in BLOOD AND SHADOWS 2000 Dark Horse Comics.
Quite an amusing Xena and Gabrielle adventure in a comic book format, but worthy of the TV series. In a forest, Xena and Gabby find a young Viking nobleman hanging by his feet above a pool of manure, (possibly from himself as he has been there for five days). Gabrielle cuts him down and he literally falls into the mound of manure, ruining what few clothes he still has on. His name is Sven (The title is an obvious pun on The Magnificent Seven). He is A Prince, due to take the crown of a Viking King, but he has developed unpopular ideas, such as trading with villagers instead of usurping, raping and pillaging them. His own men have attacked him and are trying to discredit him as weak and ineffective as a possible leader in order to maintain their traditional perks of the job. Xena & Gabrielle help him prove how strong he is and reclaim his respect as a leader. However, Xena almost unwittingly destroys his credibility. Finding him naked and tied up, she gave him her thong to wear, while she and Gabrielle admired his manhood (a surprisingly risqué gag in a comic like this). Now, as he sails to his kingdom, Xena realizes that he is still wearing it. Just as she calls to him with a warning, a breeze raises his makeshift kilt to show his men what women’s underwear he is wearing. Well-staged battles and a great dialogue reflecting the humour of the story with precise timing make this an excellent addition to the Xena story world. Sven’s efforts to save face by pretending that he hung himself up as a test of will on some quest or other is touching. He is afraid to show that he can be defeated and half believes in his own impotency as a potential leader. Xena soon convinces him otherwise. www.darkhorse.com
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