REVIEW: Robyn Hood #4

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Robyn Hood has made it her business to beat King John at his own game. Sure, that might mean she has to enter an obviously rigged tournament designed to capture and potentially kill her, but she’s going to do it, dang-it! Will she escape John’s clutches or will she become his prisoner? Behold, your Robyn Hood review awaits!

RH04_coverAROBYN HOOD #4
Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Larry Watts
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Colorist: Adam Metcalfe
Editor: Hannah Gorfinkel
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment, Inc.
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Robyn Hood:  With the bounties just piling up on her head, Robyn has become quite the symbol of hope for the people of Bree. Now that she has her Merry Men in tow, she enters King John’s tournament, knowing full fell that it’s a trap. All she wants is a chance to get King John in her sights. There also might have been some potential romantic tension between she and Will Scarlett? Maybe?

SHE’S GOT THEM MONOLOGUING!

Opening in the real world, we see that Cal King, Robyn’s attacker and rapist, is graduating as valedictorian for his high school class. After some father-son time, we learn that not much has changed since last we saw him and he continues to be the resident psychopath. Back to the much more interesting story at large, Robyn and her group of Merry Men enter the king’s tournament in hopes that she can perhaps stir the people of Bree into action against the bourgeoisie. Or, on a more personal level for Robyn, kill King John for his oppression of the proletariat. When the two become finalists in the king’s tourney, Robyn comes sword to sword with Guy of Gisbourne, a knight of bloody repute and favorite of the king.

There is a lot of talking in this issue, which can make the tournament a little disappointing if you’re not ready for it. Normally, dialogue isn’t so bad and is necessary for the plot to progress, but here it’s used almost excessively. Cal King talks about how evil he is. Guy of Gisbourne talks about how evil he is. King John talks about how evil he is. And they do this for several panels. It would be different if the content matter shifted a little, but it is literally just them talking about how feeble Robyn is and how wonderfully malicious they are. It gets distracting and feels a bit like Pat Shand is trying to fill a page.

Nevertheless, all the characters are extremely likeable for various reasons. Robyn has a relatable personality, being a ‘strong independent woman’ without it being beaten over the reader’s head. Even with his monologuing about how devious he is, Guy of Gisbourne is formidable as one of the villains of story. It’s also impressive that Shand included Guy of Gisbourne at all. With the exception of the BBC Robin Hood series, he’s usually a forgotten element of the Robin Hood mythos.

THWOK, THWOK, THOWK!

Since this book is primarily about a tournament, there is many an action sequence to be seen and all of them are visually very nice. The colors are much brighter than Zenescope’s Wonderland series and the drawings themselves are very crisp and clean. Robyn herself is usually very pretty to look at in just about all of her shots, the final panel being one of her prettiest in this particular book.

My only real complaint about the art is Watts’ rendering of Prince John, King John’s son. He’s an extremely distracting character as, in almost every panel he’s in, he has mismatched proportions and sloppy detail. Drawing children, or at least this particular child, doesn’t seem to be Watts’ forte. He’s not in it very much but, when he is, he’s almost distractingly horribly drawn.

BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE ROBYN

Robyn is rapidly climbing my list of favorite heroines from the Zenescope universe and this book helped add to it. So far, Shand has created and maintained a likeable new addition to the Myst universe and has left the book off on a classic sort of cliffhanger. Putting aside how freakish Prince John looks, the art is fairly solid and Watts makes Robyn look good in just about every panel she’s featured. His action panels are quite nice as well. Pick it up if you’ve followed the series up to this point.

Rating: ★★★½☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
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