I used to have two version of the hardcore fan. The first, being the person who knows everything about the series and gets angry over a slight faux paux (which was wildly reported) in a comic book. The second was the person who knows everything about the series, but the person takes continuity faux pauxs with a grain of salt.
Now? The hardcore fans are blithering idiots, who complain about everything from being totally razzed off by the fact it didn't start from the end of the series, to the writing and finally on to the artwork.
The fans, on the other hand, are greatful for a comic book. They may take some slight issue with the continuity issues, but overlook it because it's Xena and it is a... well... it's XENA!
Which am I'm? I'm the fan. I'm not going to seriuosly upset over John Layman's technique with the story in Dynamite's Xena comics. Why? It's a frakkin' comic book and two, it was widly reported that it wasn't going to start off where the series ended. So you shouldn't be blown away by it nor should you have been upset by the clearly obvious.
Secondly, the artwork. I have *every* single comic book ever released for Xena. From the Topps issues to the Dark House to the current Dynamite release. And let me tell ya, I'm not an artist, but the artwork in the newest comic is great.
It was stated that the characters would have similar likeness to their "human actor counterparts" but that the artists would take a different approach (albeit ever so slightly) to drawing of the characters.
Personally, I like it. I can see see Kevin Smith in Ares. I can see Paris Jefferson as Athena. I can see Bruce Campbell as Autolycus and so on and so forth. I'm not looking for an exact carbon copy here, nor are most other people.
ABOVE ALL, as with any movie that may come about, the comics are greared toward people who never heard of Xena or only have a passing memory of the character and TV show. They aren't made for us fans.
Have fun and enjoy the comics!!