In Review: Robyn Hood: I Love NY #10

A well done action issue with the introduction of a new character.

The covers: Four to add to your quiver of collectible Robyn issues. Allan Otero and Grostieta have created the A cover. This has a beautiful shot of Robyn nocking an arrow atop a building in New York. Her movements have disturbed several pigeons, which have taken flight as if they’ve been hired for a John Woo film. She looks great and the colors are also well done. This would look good for the cover of the collected version of this series. The B is by Riveiro and Ceci de la Cruz. Doing her impersonation of the Dark Knight, Robyn holds a punk over Times Square to get his attention. I love the fact that the thug has an arrow through his left arm, showing the reader that Robyn has done more than just catch this perp. The background is a little too blurry for me, though several billboards can be seen, some of which cleverly promote other Zenescope titles. The coloring on this by Cruz nicely captures the city at night. Next up is the C by Juan Carlos Ruiz and it’s sure to make a reader proclaim, “Erin go Bragh!” In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, Robyn is sitting atop a keg, surrounded by several more in a stone built storage room. She’s pulling back a nocked arrow, but it’s not the weapon that will be noticed: she’s wearing a beer maid’s top, that exposes a bit of her stomach, panties, boots, and a tiny Irish top hat. She looks attractive, but her face says she’s ready for business. This is the cheesecake edition for this issue. The final cover, the D, is by Renato Rei and Wes Hartman. This takes a turn to the left to showcase the woman who’s been pursuing Robyn since the series’ beginning. She, too, has a bow, and she looks as if she’s just released an arrow. The image is particularly striking due to the strong colors — violet on crimson. It’s good, but since I don’t know much about this character, other than she wants to kill Robyn, it doesn’t have much of an emotional impact on me. Overall grades: A A, B B, C A, and D B-

The story: The Statue of Liberty in the pouring rain is the setting of this issue. Robyn arrives on Liberty Island and is directed by an armored policeman to proceed further along. She finds three additional officers huddling by a helicopter. As she continues toward the statue she sees one officer helping a fallen friend, blood creating a stream that adds to the downpour. More men are wounded and some are dead. Bullets suddenly spew out before her, stopping her advancement. She quickly darts behind a tree and lets loose an arrow that goes through the throat of her attacker. Finally at the statue, she sees enormous lightning bolts and a twister surrounding the iconic structure. As she’s making her way through this carnage, her narration states that today is the day that changed her life. She waxes philosophic as she makes her way and is attacked. The narration ends once she stands before the statue. The story then moves to a flashback that occurred “Years ago.” Preteen Robyn is on a class field trip taking the ferry to the island. She’s looking forward to going there until some classmates start giving her lip, and you can imagine what happens to them. This brief glimpse into Robyn’s past was neat, providing some motivation for how she feels, plus I don’t recall reading much of her past before the Myst. I’m very open to seeing more of this. Back in the present, the story, conceived by Joe Brusha and written by Lou Iovino, has the heroine meeting up with a few more terrorists until meeting up with Battery, a super powered character who’s the cause of the bizarre weather occurring. There’s a nice surprise with this character and how the situation is resolved is well done. The final two pages seemed really forced, as this situation has been out of Robyn’s mind since the narration stopped. It does tease a past protagonist, but it seems tacked on to an otherwise enjoyable action issue. Overall grade: B+  

The art: A trio of artists on this issue: Sergio Arino, Ace Continuado, and Riveiro. The visuals are strong throughout the book and I couldn’t find any noticeable moment where it’s obvious where one artist took over for another. That’s a sign of a tight team on a book. The opening page is very tense with Robyn running past bodies and the wounded in the rain. When she’s attacked on Page 2 she’s got a terrific snarl on her face as she releases the arrow and the fifth panel where the man is hit is incredibly detailed — I especially like the rain that’s hitting the figure. The full paged splash on 3 is okay, it shows the reader what’s going on, but the statue is too far away and the colors really blob up the weather effects. It looks messy. The flashback pages are outstanding; whomever is responsible for those pages needs to do an entire issue! Pages 6 – 13 contain several great action sequences with the heroine attacking several antagonists, moving rapidly through the statue, eventually ending outside the statue and ascending it. The third panel on 8 is really neat, with the changing perspectives on 9 outstanding. It made me want to watch Saboteur again. The full page splash on 10 has a neat moment that’s somewhat cooled by her posing, which comes off as unnatural. Battery is a cool looking character, whose design is simple, but completely believable for a hero book. The final three pages are also very well done, with the characters’ emotions and movements strong, such as Robyn’s push in the final panel on the penultimate page, using her hair to show movement. This book had solid imagery. Overall grade: A

The colors: The majority of the book had solid coloring, though occasionally there are some rough patches. The colorists on this book are Grostieta, Jorge Cortes, Hedwin Zaldivar, and Federico Blee. The first two pages are excellent, but that full paged splash on 3 is just a colorful mess. It’s hard to find a focus. The flashback sequences, done to simulate black and white images (though Robyn isn’t old enough to have been around when black and white photography was even used) looks awesome. The action sequences as she ascends the statue used oranges and yellows to punch up them up very effectively. The splash on 10 should have used lighter colors to highlight Robyn more, because she blends in too much with the background. The element that makes Battery stand out is excellent. The powerful climax on 18 is fairly dead because the coloring is not powerful enough; there was a lot of build to this moment and there’s not enough visual payoff. The colors return to greatness on the final three pages, capturing the dim interior lights of the setting, but allowing the reader to see all the art. Again, a little hit and miss. Overall grade: B-

The letters: Narration, sounds, the story’s title, the book’s credits, a change in time, yells, screams, and a newspaper headline are created by Ghost Glyph Studios’ own Taylor Esposito. With all the action in this issue, the sounds must either match them or pump them up even more, and Esposito revs things up quite well with his contributions. All the sounds between 6 and 13 are outstanding. I also have to point out how good it is to see narration get its own unique font and not just a change in color for the box that contains it. I do wish that the credits had been a little larger. I don’t understand why they’re so tiny, as there’s plenty of room to increase them, but they are still legible. Overall grade: A-

The final line: A well done action issue with the introduction of a new character. Some minor nits keep this from earning top marks, but this is still very enjoyable and worth checking out. Overall grade: B+

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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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