Thursday, August 1, 2013
The Bad Girls Of Xena: Warrior Princess
Melinda Clarke as Velaska
What is a hero without their nemesis? Directionless. If a hero didn’t have to constantly right wrongs , resist temptations or fight off the bad guy, what would be the point of being a hero? And who is the best person to bring those challenges into a hero’s life? A nemesis. To me, there were three nemesis that rotated through the television show Xena: Warrior Princess, and when I say nemesis I mean it in its truest definition. An unbeatable opponent. A bitter enemy. That’s what these three women were.
These bad girls were thrown into lava pits, buried in rockslides, and imprisoned in the spirit realm. And still they came back. But out of all of them, Callisto was and always will be my favorite. Hudson Lieke played that character as well as Lucy Lawless portrayed Xena, and I loved their chemistry together. Nobody could toy with Xena the way Callisto did. And nobody made her feel guilt the way Callisto did. There was a love/hate, admire/despise thing going on with them, and Callisto always kept Xena off balance. Callisto was so beautifully disturbed, and deliciously psychotic that you loved it when she showed up on the scene. At least I did. Because you knew she was capable of doing anything. She was the perfect nemesis.
The others weren’t as dynamic as Callisto, but one had the potential to be equally as crazy. Velaska. Velaska challenged Queen Melosa for the mask, and won. The only problem with her being their leader was she was going to lead the Amazons into every war she could find. Or start. I wish Velaska had hung around longer. I think she would have been a fantastic irritant for Gabrielle. She could have always been stirring up problems in the Amazon village while Xena and Gabrielle was on the road. And in the back of her mind her main goal would always be to get possession of that Queen’s Mask.
Then there was Alti. I don’t think I ever really gave Alti a chance. All I saw her as was a lame replacement for Callisto. She was more annoying than menacing, and her presence always felt forced to me. She kinda came out of nowhere and went nowhere. IMO. Her strange gravelly voice and witchy ways didn’t pull me in the way the threat of Callisto and Velaska’s physical presence did. The idea that Xena’s reincarnated self would always have to fight and defeat Alti’s reincarnated self didn’t sit right with me either. Who was Alti to be so important in Xena's karmic circle? Alti didn’t seem to play that big of a role in Xena’s life to me. She certainly didn’t have the history with her that Callisto did. But I could be seeing this all wrong. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too hard on Alti. Maybe I'm not.
An argument could be made for Najara, but I won’t make it. She knocked out Xena’s good chewing teeth, and that is an offense that can not be forgiven. Have you seen the beautiful set of choppers the Warrior Princess sports?
I’m recommending Soul Searching because it has Callisto in a role where she is just as insane as she was in the TV show, except this time she is Xena the Conqueror’s General and commands the troops. When Xena disappears from the castle because she’s grown bored with the whole conqueror thing, Callisto gathers a small army and heads out to find her and bring her back. By any means necessary. What she didn’t expect to find was Xena, ready to return to her duties with a blonde barmaid and her son in tow.
Soul Searching by T.Novan & Advocate - 273 pages
My second recommendation is the Negotiations series. This story has Velaska in the surprising roll as loyal scout and devoted Amazon. She is happy to serve under Queen Gabrielle’s rule, and has even found love for herself. The only problem is she doesn’t make an appearance until the second installment of the series, Complications.
1. Negotiations by Gin - 50 pages
2. Complications - 220 pages
3. Invitations - 300 pages
My third recommendation is The Conqueror’s Stone where Xena awakens in an alternate reality where she is the conqueror and Alti is some kind of bizarre healer, shamaness, witch doctor type. Xena knows she needs to find the Kronos Stone to get back to her reality and her Gabrielle, but will Alti find it first?
The Conqueror's Stone by Djwp - 115 Pages