In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales presents Robyn Hood #10

A fun read with some excellent surprises and some good visuals.

The covers: A terrific A cover opens the quartet of covers one can collect for this issue. Emilio Laiso and Wes Hartman have an outstanding image of Robyn and Avella battling. I love the pose of both characters and the colors make this very bold; using white as the background with a blue stripe cutting the page in half makes the flesh, green, and tan colors really stand out. This was the cover I purchased. The B cover is more sinister, showing Robyn on the floor as three members of the Cabal stand behind her, their eyes glowing yellow against a spectacular orange window. Nice work by Tony Brescini and Leonardo Paciarotti. The C is by Richard Ortiz and Ylenia Di Napoli. Robyn has her back to readers, as she’s pulling an arrow from her quiver, while behind her is gigantic head of one of the Cabal. The background is crimson red that’s sensational. There’s also an Atlantic City Boardwalk Con exclusive cover by Jamie Tyndall with colors by Ula Mos. This is a wow-zer of a cover! Robyn is wearing a green open corset and a green thong, holding the bear she won at a boardwalk arrow shooting game. This cover is limited to 350 copies, so track one down if you can! Overall grades: A A, B B, C B+, and Atlantic City Boardwalk Con A+

The story: Peter Martin and Robyn are pushed out of an elevator by members of the Cabal, with the title character’s quiver of arrows falling loose and tumbling as they hit the floor. Waiting in the lobby for the pair are more members of this nefarious group, ready to give the pair a pounding. Robyn’s narration is, “Well. This is happening.” After a turn of the page, she says, “But first” and runs into the hospital with an infected Marian. Her witch friend has been infected by a “strange sickness” and getting her to the hospital was the best Robyn could do. The doctors get into hazmat gear and contact the police about the person who dropped her off; the one eye is a tip off to the authorities that it’s Robyn. Martin sees the heroine run down the street and follows her to the contact that led the pair to the Cabal. Robyn wants answers and she’s willing to get rough to get them. This story has many surprising turns by writer Pat Shand. First is what Robyn’s unwilling stoolie does, followed by a terrific confrontation with the Cabal. Robyn and Peter are in the lion’s den and things go in a unique direction. I admit to expecting the traditional hero showdown, but Shand doesn’t have Robyn do that. Oh, there’s plenty of tense moments, but in a refreshing way. They include the top of Page 15, the bottom of 16, and Pages 19 – 21. I didn’t have high hopes for the Cabal when they were originally introduced, but after this outing, it’s easy to see them lasting quite a while to vex Robyn and her friends, and I’m betting their next encounter is going to be very violent. And deservedly so after what they say and do to Marian. This was a solid read and an excellent introduction to Robyn’s adventures if one is new to them. Overall grade: A

The art: There’s some nice work in this issue by Roberta Ingranata. There’s a nice layout on Page 3 showing Robyn’s focus on the ailing Marian that’s accompanied by some panels of her bolting down the street in anger; the person that led Robyn and Marian to the Cabal is a nicely drawn character who had some nice emotions, such as on Page 5; the Cabal are visually interesting because of their freakish masks; Robyn is excellently rendered, looking particularly cool when she shoots an important arrow on Page 16; and Page 21 is a neat way to show movement. There are some pages, however, that look drawn by a different person, with some characters looking too angular; case in point, Page 1’s splash. Robyn’s hands and Peter’s face are just too square. They look nothing like the characters that appear on the following 7 pages, yet on Page 9 Pete’s gone back to overly square. This happens rarely, but it does occur, and it took me out of the reading experience. I was a happy, though occasionally distracted, reader. Overall grade: B

The color: Excellent coloring work by Slamet Mujiono. Ingranata has got a very simple, smooth style for her faces, and I like it, but there’s not much depth put into them. It falls upon Mujiono to put that perspective in and he excels at it. Look at the faces on Page 2: Robn’s nose is fully defined because of the coloring, as is the great job done on the officer at the bottom of the page, and the men in hazmat suits look great. Superior facial work is also done on Pages 4 and 5. Mujiono is also doing some great work with backgrounds, as is evidenced by the walls in the Mesopotamia; it’s a nice splatter effect that gives an aged look. This effect is repeated in Robyn and Marian’s apartment. Every page shows Mujiono to be a very talented artist. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration, opening credits, dialogue, signage, a television broadcast, sounds, yells, Dark Horde speak, whispers, scene setting, and next issue’s tease are done by Jim Campbell. This is a nice variety of fonts employed to communicate different aspects of the story and all succeed very well. Overall grade: A

The final line: A fun read with some excellent surprises and some good visuals. Only the art has some missteps, but not enough to decimate the grade. Overall grade: A- 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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