In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales presents Robyn Hood #8

A decent outing, with a good story but only adequate art.

The covers: A foursome for you to steal into your collection. The A cover is Cris Delara. It’s an super image of Robyn bursting through a window ready to launch an arrow into someone worthy of her wrath. She looks tough and sexy, with a slight smile indicating she’s going to enjoy taking someone out. Her battle hasn’t been particularly easy, judging by the scars on her upper chest and the gashes on her stomach. Great sense of motion due to her hair, the flying glass, and the excellent coloring. This is tee shirt, poster, and print worthy. Mike Capprotti is responsible for the B cover which packs a lot of punch. Atop a skyscraper, Robyn nocks an arrow as the rain falls down. Her head turns to her right, signaling that her target is coming close. Excellent image and outstanding coloring make this tops. The C by Richard Ortiz and Sean Ellery is also a sensational image, but there’s much more chaos going on. Avella walks the street of New York, holding a spear, her facial tattoos glowing as bright as her weapon. Fire surrounds her from cars that have exploded. Citizens run to escape her fury. Great layout, excellent architecture, and superb coloring. A wow cover that doesn’t feature the lead. There’s also a Wondercon exclusive cover by Jason Cardy, limited to 350 copies, but I couldn’t find any images of it online. Overall grades: All A+

The story: Pat Shand’s story opens up thirteen months in the past in the Realm of Myst as Avella trains Marian. The student’s comments cause Avella stop, asking if Marian thinks she’s wicked. The flashback closes with Marian asking, “I don’t know about that. I don’t much about you.” Her master asks, “You…are free to ask,” which prompts the question, “Have you ever lost anyone?” An excellent transition to the present then occurs, with Avella looking down from on high to the streets as Sam and Marian are out on a date, which is interrupted by a bolt of energy which clears bystanders. Emerging from a cloud of debris, Avella says, “And here she is. The girl who refused to dance with death. Until death came to her.” Shand then masterfully cuts to Robyn’s predicament, encountering a demon that’s emerged in a cavern from under the Church of Many Eyes. She has some snappy banter with the cultists that have raised the creature, but this looks to be an open and shut case in taking out the monster, until the worst possible thing in the world occurs on Page 5 (which is accompanied by the best dialogue balloon with an arrow, ever!). The action cuts between Avella trying to kill Marian and Robyn trying to take out the demon. This is a nice way for Shand to build tension, because as soon as one story gets really tense, she cuts back to the other. Readers will be kept on pins and needles, and I certainly was. I was surprised at who comes to Marian’s aid–I want more of this character! The final two pages tease that something big is about to be unleashed on the city, but that will have to wait for next month. A good read. Overall grade: A

The art: Backgrounds barely exist and silhouettes are used to get around rendering complete characters in Roberta Ingranata’s visuals. The first three panels on the first page look fine, but in the final two panels my Spidey Sense was tingling that this was not going to be book with a lot of details. Ingranata has chosen to use tiny panels that are framed by a splatter of colors. If it were just on this page to symbolize the magic in use, I’d be okay with this choice, but moving onto Page 2 I cold see that this choice was to save time in illustration. There’s a hint of trees in the first and second panels, and a nice job with backgrounds in the fourth, but the rest of the page is background free. That last panel really needed something behind it. I know it was reused for the first panel on Page 3, but I cannot understand why Avella is walking, let alone in that fashion, to Marian. The first two panels on 3 are okay, but what just happened in the third panel? I’m assuming that was an energy blast by the sound effect, but a lack of clear figures or backgrounds makes the panel confusing. Things do not improve on the fourth page. I don’t understand why a circular panel was used in the second panel, except that Ingranata didn’t have to draw the entire creature. It would have been helpful to show the creature completely to show what Robyn was up against, but that doesn’t happen. The incident on Page 5 is drawn well. I want that kind of detail in this book’s illustrations. The settings disappear leaving huge empty spaces that scream to be filled. The art tells the story adequately, but I want this book to be better than that. Overall grade: C-

The colors: The contributions by Slamet Mujiono are good. Mujiono does a good job with the splatter on the first two pages, and an exceptional job on Avella’s glowing tattoos, especially on Page 3. The fire effects are accomplished through the colors, and don’t look too good. They are thick yellow stylus sweeps though the oranges. Better is when color is used in the backgrounds, or lack thereof, in Marian’s story. The incidents in the middle of the street look very good. Overall grade: B

The letters: Dialogue, narration, sounds, opening title, texting, and a broken whisper are by Jim Campbell. They look good, with the sounds, which are many, looking excellent. Overall grade: A

The final line: A decent outing, with a good story but only adequate art. Overall grade: B

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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